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339 E Macclenny Ave
Macclenny, FL 32063

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BAKER COUNTY VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD
2016 ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 @ 10:00AM

Agenda

BAKER COUNTY VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD
WILL BEGIN HEARINGS ON
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016 @ 10:00AM

(Alternate Date Thursday, October 6, 2016 @ 10:00AM)

Value Adjustment Board consists of 2 members of the Baker County Board of County Commissioners, 2 citizens, and 1 member of the Baker County School Board.

The Clerk of the County and Circuit Courts is the Clerk to the VAB. The VAB as a panel considers and renders a decision on all appeal petitions relating to property assessments, classifications and exemptions. The VAB has no jurisdiction or control over taxes or tax rates established by taxing authorities. The VAB's one and only function is to hear evidence as to whether or not properties, petitioned for their consideration, are appraised at their fair market value and determine if an agricultural classification or exemption should be approved. The VAB cannot change an appraised value for any other reason, such as inability to pay.

The VAB is independent of the Property Appraiser and in fact, the Property Appraiser must present their evidence as does the petitioner.

Florida VABs are governed by the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Florida VABs are required to follow the Uniform Rules contained in the FAC, which can be found at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/vab. VABs may have additional internal operating procedures, not rules, which do not conflict with, change, suspend, or negate the rules adopted in this chapter, the Florida Statutes, or case law. FAC12D-9.005(2)(a) and (b).

Petition Forms and Information
DR486 - Petition to the VAB - Request for Hearing
DR486PORT - Petition for Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference
Petition Withdrawal Request

Local Contact Information
Baker County Clerk of Courts
339 East Macclenny Avenue
Macclenny, Florida 32063
Phone: 904.259.0208

When and How to File your VAB Petition
The petition process begins March 2nd. VAB petitions may be found at the Property Appraiser's Office, the VAB Clerk's Office, the VAB Clerk's website at www.bakerclerk.com, or at the Florida Department of Revenue website at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/forms/index.html#11 . See Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 12D-9.015.

Petitions contesting exemption or classification determinations can be filed as early as March 2nd. All petitions, including value petitions, must be filed within 25 days of the mailing of the TRIM notices, making the filing deadline in mid-September.

  1. Petitions must be received by the filing deadline. The filing date is the date the petition is received by the VAB Clerk, noted by the stamped clock-in date on the petition. FAC12D-9.015(10)(filing means received by clerk during open hours). Petitions mailed prior to the filing deadline, but not received in the Clerk's office until after the deadline are untimely. Attorney General Opinion 81-43.
  2. The VAB may not extend the time for filing petitions but may consider a late-filed petition when "the peitioner has demonstrated good cause justifying consideration." FAC12D-9.015(11). Petitioners must attach to the peition, a statment of the reasons for the late filing and any documents supporting the statement.
  3. The Board has designated the VAB Attorney to make good cause considerations on late-filed petitions. See FAC 12D-9.015(11). The VAB Attorney shall make a good-cause consideration using the criteria in the above Administrative Code and accept or deny each late-filed peition. For an accepted petition, the Clerk will schedule the late-filed petition and notify the petitioner. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified by the Clerk.

Incomplete Petitions
The FAC defines a completed petition as one that provides the required elements displayed above the sworn statement and is accompanied by a filing fee. If an incomplete petition is received either because there are missing elements or the fee is unpaid, the clerk shall notify the petitioner and give the petitioner an opportunity to complete the petition or pay the fee within ten (10) calendar days. (FAC 12D9-015(9)). In the case of incomplete late-filed petitions, the petitioner must agree to waive notice periods to meet the scheduled hearing date; however, the Clerk will make every effort to notify the petitioner in a timely manner.

Fees Charged to File Your Petition

  1. There is no fee for timely-filed petitions appealing homestead exemption denials.
  2. All other petitions, including late-filed homestead exemption petitions, must be filed with a NON-REFUNDABLE $15 filing fee. Cash, money orders, checks (made payable to the Clerk of Court)
  3. Joint petitions - The Property Appraiser will provide a Letter of Determination to include with the petition if the parcels meet the requirements.
    1. Owners of "contiguous, undeveloped parcels" may file a single joint petition if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are substantially similar in nature.
    2. A single filing fee for joint petitions should be charged. The fee will not exceed $5 per parcel but will be no less than $15 per petition, and is to be proportionately paid by affected parcel owners.

Hearing Before Value Adjustment Board
You will receive a notice of your hearing on form DR-481 from the Clerk telling you the time and place that a special magistrate will hear your petition.

All hearings are held in the County Administration Building, 55 Norht 3rd Street, Macclenny, Florida 32063. All rooms are ADA compliant, but for any questions or special needs, contact the VAB Clerk at 904.259.0208

What happens at the hearing?
At a VAB hearing, the Board takes testimony and weighs evidence from the property owner and the property appraiser and recommends whether to grant or deny the property owner's request to change property's assessment value or to have an assessment or classification applied to the property. All evidence presented becomes property of the VAB.

How do I prepare for a hearing?
Arrive at the hearing equipped with all necessary information about the property: location, construction quality, features of the property, vicinity to surrounding landmarks, etc. and comparable sales for the year leading up to or around the date of assessment. Be aware that the Board has no knowledge of your property, so pictures and descriptions may be critical to understanding your situation. Some individuals with high-value property may wish to have their property independently appraised.

Decide what evidence you will present, such as witnesses and be ready to give your own testimony. Be sure your witnesses know when and where the hearing is. Make enough copies of the written evidence you wish to present. you will need three copies in addition to your own to use at the hearing. This evidence should be provided to the Property Appraiser before the hearing.

You may want to contact the Property Appraiser's Office for an informal meeting to see if an agreement can be reached with regard to the property. The Property Appraiser is required to meet with property owners if requested by the property owner. Although you are not required to meet with the Property Appraiser, such a meeting can be helpful in deciding what evidence you need in case an agreement cannot be reached.

How is the market value for my property determined?
There are three approaches to value: cost, sales comparison and income. The Property Appraiser uses a computer-assisted mass appraisal system that incorporates elements of all three approaches to value. For residential property, market value is usually determined by the sales of like properties that have occurred in the year prior to January 1st of the current year. The Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (or TRIM Notice) shows the property appraiser's estimate of the market value of your property as of January 1st. property appraisers use sales data from the prior year. For example, the Property Appraiser would determine 2010 assessments based on the market value of similar properties in the same or comparable subdivisions between January 2, 2009 and January 1, 2010. If a number of  properties similar to yours sold before the January 1st assessment date, theis would be evidence of market value. If you have questions about how the Property Appraiser valued your property, you can meet with the Property Appraiser before the hearing.

Withdrawal of Your Petition
Petitioners may withdraw their petitions at any time. Petitions that are withdrawn are required to be reported to the VAB Clerk. To properly capture withdrawals petitioners will be asked to complete form DR-485WI. A copy of the withdrawal form can also be obtained at the VAB Clerk's office and on the County or DOR websites; they will also be available at hearings. You may mail the withdrawal form to the VAB Clerk, 339 East Macclenny Avenue, Macclenny, Florida 32063; or email a copy to the VAB Clerk at clerk@bakercountyfl.org