GOVERNOR CRIST SIGNS LEGISLATION TO ENSURE FAIRNESS IN TAX ASSESSMENTS
June 4, 2009
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE
Added protection for Florida homeowners and owners of business, rental or second-home properties
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today signed legislation that will continue his efforts to protect Florida homeowners and property owners. House Bill 521, relating to ad valorem assessment, implements fairness for property owners who challenge property appraisers' value assessment of the property. Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Senator Mike Fasano sponsored the legislation.
"Today, we are putting fairness back on the side of Florida homeowners and those who own property in the Sunshine State," said Governor Crist. "This good bill increases the likelihood that a taxpayer will succeed in challenging a value assessment established by a property appraiser. "
Governor Crist remains committed to lowering property taxes and protecting Florida homeowners. This bill makes it easier for Floridians to challenge property appraisers' valuation of their properties and also helps to ensure a more fair valuation. Previously, Florida law left the burden of proof to the taxpayer and presumed an appraiser's assessment was correct. This legislation provides that taxpayers who can present evidence that is more convincing than the property appraiser's assessment will be entitled to a revised assessment. Over the next five years, Florida homeowners and owners of business, rental or second-home properties are expected to save more than $2.1 billion due to the change in law.
Governor Crist was joined at the bill signing by John Sebree of the Florida Association of Realtors, Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, David Daniel of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Jose Gonzalez of Associated Industries of Florida, and John McDonald of the Florida Association of Property Tax Professionals.
This legislation builds upon Governor Crist's ongoing efforts to reduce the property tax burden on Floridians. In 2007, Governor Crist signed landmark legislation rolling back all property taxes to at least the previous year's levels. That same year, the Governor promoted Amendment 1 which promised to save Floridian's an estimated $9 billion over five years.