Over the past few days Broward County property owners have been opening their mailboxes only to find the dreaded “Notice of Proposed 2007 Property Taxes”. More than a few owners of non-homesteaded properties are angry, to say the least. I had one out-of-state client whom I sold a house to a few years ago call me yesterday to ask me what they can do to fight their fourth consecutive increase in property taxes… this time of approximately $500 due to a supposed $40,000 gain in assessed value.
As many of you are aware, it was around late 2005 that the South Florida real estate market stalled and then started becoming a buyer’s market. Over the past 18-22 months, inventory has drastically increased and market values have fluctuated somewhat during that time period. To be clear, market value is what a buyer is willing to pay in today’s market, regardless of what similar properties sold for a few months ago.
According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the median* sales price in the greater Fort Lauderdale area in year-end 2005 was $361,100. A year later, in year-end 2006 it was $367,800 (only a 2% increase). So, you can imagine why the out-of-state client called in amazement that his assessed value increased considerably more than 2%. Obviously, they plan on challenging their property assessment. Anyone wanting to do the same should read the flyer and newsletter that were included in the envelope containing your 2007 notice of proposed property taxes.
According to the “News for Broward Taxpayers” Summer-Fall 2007 newsletter, “For non-homesteaded property, the assessed value is always identical to the property’s market value as of January 1, 2007. […] In most instances, our market values are determined using a mass-appraisal process based upon multiple sales of comparable properties in the same or similar subdivisions. BOTTOM LINE: If our market value of your property […] is higher than you believe a buyer would reasonably pay for your property on the open market, either call or email our office or file a value petition by the September 18, 2007 deadline.” Learn more about how to challenge your 2007 property value assessment and the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) appeals process.
The Broward County Property Appraiser’s main office is located at 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 111, in downtown Fort Lauderdale (just south of Broward Blvd.). Here are three phone numbers you may find useful:
- 954-357-6830 for Exemptions and General Info
- 954-357-6831 for Residential Property Values
- 954-357-6832 for Condo and Co-Op Values
*Median is the price at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
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