When it comes to your property tax assessment, and your money, the old saying could not be truer: the early bird gets the worm. If you wait until assessments are mailed in August and there is an error, it’s more difficult to correct it and save your company hard-earned money.
Once a county property tax assessment is mailed, you have a 25 day window to contest the assessment. That 25 days begins from the date the assessment is mailed, not the date that it’s received. If a client feels there is an error, they will need to file a petition to protest the assessment. Under the law, a business can protest the value given to the property, not the taxes. It takes time to examine the true value of a property. Once facts are attained to dispute the assessment based on the value given to the property by the county property tax assessor, the client can then file a protest. This can be filed for only a $15 dollar fee for every county in Florida. If you do not file within that 25 day window, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit in county court. This can be very expensive, possibly outweighing any tax savings. However, it’s a weighted risk. If you protest your assessment and you are wrong, the property appraiser can further review your file and possibly raise your assessment and mail you a new notice.
At First Coast Consultants, we will never let you take that risk. We do not believe in filing a hasty dispute that could possibly hurt our clients once all of the facts are known. It is our company policy that we will not file a petition on your behalf if it is not 100% fact checked. If you allow us the time to do our job accurately, it is your company who stands the most to gain.
It’s always to our client’s betterment to have a professional review business records early and often. Let First Coast Consultants conduct our due diligence on your records now, months in advance of your assessment coming in the mail, to save you later.
Additionally, every year, your assessment can change. For example, a county property tax appraiser may notice an uptick in sales for apartment complexes in a given year, and thus switch your assessment from an income approach to a market value or cost approach. However, it’s possible that your apartment complex has a high number of vacancies and thus the assessment is incorrect.
In 2014, one of our client’s received an assessment of 11.8 million dollars on one apartment complex. However, our client had a large number of vacancies that particular year. Once First Coast Consultants met with the county property tax appraiser, we were able to save this client five million dollars on the assessment.
Currently, 100% of our returning customers have us reviewing their records early. Remember, reviewing your properties early can save you money later.