The Bad News
Your commercial property may be overvalued for property tax purposes. In Florida, real property is assessed through a mass appraisal process. In this respect, property appraisers use computer models and sometimes even aerial photographs to determine square footage and other material aspects of the property. After gathering this information about the property, property assessors use comparable sales and other general market indicators to value the property for assessment purposes.
This type of mass appraisal is necessary as a practical matter given the number of properties that must be valued. However, mass valuation techniques often fail to account for meaningful details, resulting in assessments that inaccurately value the property. Moreover, property tax assessments are performed a year in arrears. This means that your 2012 assessment is based on 2011 market indicators.
The Good News
You can fight back! As a Florida property owner, you have the right to appeal the County's assessment of your commercial property. If you believe that your assessment does not fairly reflect the value of your property, you may want to consider appealing the assessment. But the window for appeal is small, so you have to act fast!
In Florida, taxpayers only have 25 days to appeal the assessment. With assessments delivered in early August, the deadline for appeal typically falls around September 10. If you think the County has overvalued your commercial property, contact me today.