Friday, September 11, 2009

Please, Overcharge Me for My Property Tax

I don't think anybody likes receiving a tax bill,
much less overpaying for property taxes in the
se challenging economic times. Foreclosures and short sales have taken a toll on property values across Florida and the country. In Naples real estate we are faced with homes that are often taxed at taxable market values above true market values. These are terms I have coined to explain why you're property values are not in line with current home sales.The difference between the two can make all the difference in the world to your pocket book.

Taxable Market Value

Each year the Collier County Property Appraiser re-assesses the market value of all the property in Collier County for tax purposes.
The Property Appraiser prepares the tax roll, but does not collect taxes or determine tax rates. The Property Appraiser does this by looking at the supply and demand through buying and selling transactions. This system for coming up with taxable market value works well in a market of increasing property values, but fails to react fast enough in a market of rapidly falling property values that we have seen over the past two years.

The failure in the system (and the little known fact) stems from the Florida State laws that prohibit the Property Appraiser from using any foreclosures and short sale transactions in their assessment of market value. In many communities, foreclosures and short sales dominate and even outnumber acceptable, or what the Property Appraiser considers arm's-length, transactions.

True Market Value

True market value reflects the actual sales you see taking place in the Naples real estate market today. It takes into account the combined closed sales of all properties, including foreclosures and short sales. This is the reality of what your home is worth when you put it on the market today and it must compete with all the properties in your neighborhood that are in default or have gone to foreclosure.

Unfortunately, you can't march into the Collier County Property Appraiser's office with a list of closed short sale and foreclosures to demonstrate that they should reduce your properties market value. Florida law prohibits those sales from being used in the re-evaluation of your property.

What Can I Do if My Opinion of Market Value Differs from the Property Appraiser's?

The first step to consider if your opinion of market value differs from the Property Appraiser's is to call them (239-252-8141) and discuss it. I have found them to be very open to discussing how they arrived at a specific property value.

If you've spoken with them and still disagree, the next step is to request a hearing before the Value Adjustment Board. You must file a written petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court (acting as the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board). You can obtain the correct forms from their site by clicking here (just follow the link to "Rules and Procedures for the Value Adjustment Board" in the center of the page).

Your signed petition should be post marked by September 11, 2009 (the date indicated at the bottom of the Proposed Property Tax Notice you should have received in the mail in August.

If you have any questions about closed sales in Naples, we would be happy to assist you. And if you are looking to sell your home and find a new home at true market value where you are not overpaying property taxes, we can show you how. There are wonderful Naples homes and condos for sale where you won't pay a penny extra in property taxes. And to top if off they are actually increasing in value! Wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air.

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