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Homestead exemptions; approval, refusal, hearings-Value Adjustment Board

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#1 | Posted: 21 Oct 2006 08:32 
Chapter 196. Exemption
196.151. Homestead exemptions; approval, refusal, hearings


The property appraisers of the counties of the state shall, as soon as practicable after March 1 of each current year and on or before July 1 of that year, carefully consider all applications for tax exemptions that have been filed in their respective offices on or before March 1 of that year. If, upon investigation, the property appraiser finds that the applicant is entitled to the tax exemption applied for under the law, he or she shall make such entries upon the tax rolls of the county as are necessary to allow the exemption to the applicant. If, after due consideration, the property appraiser finds that the applicant is not entitled under the law to the exemption asked for, he or she shall immediately make out a notice of such disapproval, giving his or her reasons therefor, a copy of which notice must be served upon the applicant by the property appraiser either by personal delivery or by registered mail to the post office address given by the applicant. The applicant may appeal to the value adjustment board the decision of the property appraiser refusing to allow the exemption for which application was made, and the board shall review the application and evidence presented to the property appraiser upon which the applicant based the claim for exemption and shall hear the applicant in person or by agent on behalf of his or her right to such exemption. The value adjustment board shall reverse the decision of the property appraiser in the cause and grant exemption to the applicant if in its judgment the applicant is entitled thereto or shall affirm the decision of the property appraiser. The action of the board is final in the cause unless the applicant shall, within 15 days from the date of refusal of the application by the board, file in the circuit court of the county in which the homestead is situated a proceeding against the property appraiser for a declaratory judgment as is provided by chapter 86 or other appropriate proceeding. The failure of the taxpayer to appear before the property appraiser or value adjustment board or to file any paper other than the application above provided does not constitute any bar or defense to the proceedings.


CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1991, c. 91-112, 156, eff. July 1, 1991; Laws 1993, c. 93-132, 11, eff. April 29, 1993; Laws 1995, c. 95-147, 996, eff. July 10, 1995.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Laws 1986, c. 86-300, 7.
Laws 1981, c. 81-219, 11.
Laws 1976, c. 76-234, 8.
Laws 1976, c. 76-133, 14.
Laws 1971, c. 71-355, 36.
Laws 1969, c. 69-55, 1, 2.
Fla.St.1967, 192.19.
Comp.Gen.Laws Supp.1936, 897(9).
Laws 1935, c. 17060, 8.

Amendment Notes:

Laws 1971, c. 71-355, 36, substituted in subsecs. (2) and (6) references to board of tax adjustment for county commissioners sitting as a board of equalization.

Laws 1976, c. 76-133, changed the name of each board of tax adjustment to "property appraisal adjustment board" and conformed section language to the change in nomenclature.

Laws 1976, c. 76-234, substituted "March 1" for "April 1" twice in the first sentence.

Laws 1981, c. 81-219, 11, in the second sentence, deleted "mark the application 'approved' and 'exemption granted' and file same in the permanent records of his office and shall" preceding "make such entries", in the third sentence, deleted "in triplicate form" following "immediately make out" and deleted "make return of the manner in which such notice was served upon said applicant upon the original notice, thereof and immediately" preceding "file same with", deleted the fourth sentence which pertained to the disposition of the third copy of the notice required by this section, and in the fifth sentence, deleted "original" preceding "notice of disapproval" and deleted "with entry of service upon the application" following "application for exemption".

Laws 1986, c. 86-300, 7, eff. July 13, 1986, substituted in the first sentence "on or before July 1" for "prior to the first Monday in May".

Laws 1991, c. 91-112, 156, eff. July 1, 1991, substituted "value adjustment board" for "property appraisal adjustment board" throughout the section.

Laws 1993, c. 93-132, 11, eff. April 29, 1993, made nonsubstantive changes throughout; and rewrote the former third and fourth sentences, which had read, "If, after due consideration, the property appraiser finds that the applicant is not entitled under the law to the exemption asked for, he shall immediately make out a notice of such disapproval, giving his reasons therefor, a copy of which notice shall be served upon the applicant by the property appraiser either by personal delivery or by registered mail to the post-office address given by the applicant, and shall file the notice with the clerk of the value adjustment board of the county. The notice of disapproval of application for exemption, when filed with the clerk of the value adjustment board, shall constitute an appeal of the applicant to the board from the decision of the property appraiser refusing to allow the exemption for which application was made, and the board shall review the application and evidence presented to the property appraiser upon which the applicant based his claim for exemption and shall hear the applicant in person or by agent on behalf of his right to such exemption.".

Laws 1995, c. 95-147, a reviser's bill, eliminated gender-specific references without making substantive changes in legal effect.


CROSS REFERENCES
Complaints against denial of homestead exemption by property appraiser, see 194.032, 194.034.
Exemption of homestead, see Const. Art. 7, 6; Const. Art. 10, 4.
Registered mail defined to include certified mail with return receipt requested, see 1.01.

LAW REVIEW AND JOURNAL COMMENTARIES

Proving overassessments in property taxes. Benjamin K. Phipps, 44 Fla.B.J. 446 (1970).


LIBRARY REFERENCES

1999 Main Volume
Taxation 251.
Westlaw Topic No. 371.
C.J.S. Taxation 304, 305.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Encyclopedias

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1238, Purposes of Hearings.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1245, Filing Fee.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1519, Notice of Disapproval.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1520, Appeal to Value Adjustment Board.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1521, Appeal to Value Adjustment Board -- Effect of Taxpayer's Failure to Appear Before Property Appraiser or Board.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1518, Duty of Property Appraiser or City Officials -- Processing Claims.

FL Jur. 2d Taxation 1522, Court Proceedings.


NOTES OF DECISIONS
Appeal 5, 6
Appeal - In general 5
Appeal - Finality of appeal 6
Due process 1
Failure to appear 9
False applications 7
Finality of appeal 6
Investigation 3
Municipalities 8
Notice 4
Time of filing 2

1. Due process

Opportunity of homeowner to be heard in quasi-judicial proceeding before the Board of Tax Adjustment before denial of his homestead tax exemption met requirements of due process. Horne v. Markham, 288 So.2d 196 (1973). Constitutional Law 284(2)
2. Time of filing

Evidence that April 1st deadline for applications for homestead exemption was necessary to comply with tax assessor's duty to complete tax roll by July 1st sustained finding that April 1st deadline was not arbitrary or unreasonable. Horne v. Markham, 288 So.2d 196 (1973). Taxation 2369(2)

A value adjustment board is not authorized to consider an application for a homestead exemption unless a timely application has first been filed with the property appraiser. Op.Atty.Gen., 2001-83, December 13, 2001.
3. Investigation

The nature and extent of any investigation by the property appraiser concerning the validity of execution and filing of a homestead exemption application or short form renewal card by an agent operating under specific power of attorney are matters that must be administratively determined by the property appraiser pursuant to his express statutory duties to examine and investigate such homestead exemption application form to determine if it complies with Florida Law. Op.Atty.Gen., 082-99, Dec. 1, 1982.
4. Notice

Since no homestead application could be denied except by final action of the Board of Tax Adjustment, decision of tax assessor disapproving late application was a tentative administrative decision which did not require prior notice or hearing. Horne v. Markham, 288 So.2d 196 (1973). Taxation 2369(2)
5. Appeal--In general

County tax equalization boards, existing under and pursuant to former 193.25 (see, now, 194.011), could review the action of the tax assessors in denying applications for tax exemption, and grant the same in whole or in part. 1960 Op.Atty.Gen., 060-164, Oct. 11, 1960.
6. ---- Finality of appeal

Where a homestead exemption application was filed and denied by county tax assessor, and equalization board acted on appeal or no appeal was taken, assessment became final and could not be reconsidered or reviewed by board of equalization after adjournment sine die. 1953-54 Op.Atty.Gen. 220.

Where antecedent to this section authorized board of county commissioners to equalize and correct tax assessments, and declared its action to be final, such action would only be final to the extent that party aggrieved had not resorted to the court within the prescribed period. 1943 Op.Atty.Gen. 198.
7. False applications

Where an application for homestead tax exemption was found to be false and the claimant not entitled thereto, after the same had been allowed, the exemption could be withdrawn and denied by the taxing officials, but the taxpayer should have had an opportunity to be heard upon the question of his claim before the tax assessor and the board of county commissioners in full compliance with antecedent to this section. 1961 Op.Atty.Gen., 061-1, Jan. 1, 1961.
8. Municipalities

Where an application for homestead tax exemption was duly filed with the county tax assessor, as required by former 192.12 et seq. (see, now, 196.031 et seq.), and approved by such tax assessor, the municipal tax assessor was not bound to follow the action of the county tax assessor in granting the exemption. 1951 Op.Atty.Gen. 261.
9. Failure to appear

Where tax assessor rejected application for homestead exemption, board of county commissioners was required to act on the disapproval, though applicant failed to appear and made no objection before the board of equalization. 1948 Op.Atty.Gen. 194.
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