Saturday, 04 September 2010 12:07 Rochelle Le Cavalier
Dear Pink Realtor,
We just received a “TRIM Notice” from Broward County about our property taxes. It says it is not a bill, but it does show our proposed property taxes. There is a ton of information, most of which makes no sense to me. What is “TRIM” and how can a normal person understand it?
Over-Taxed with Details
The “Truth In Millage” (TRIM) Notice is designed to inform you of your rights as a taxpayer. TRIM Notices are sent to property owners every August for taxes payable in November and are due no later than April. To protect your rights as a taxpayer, the TRIM Notice tells you:
1. The proposed market value and assessed value of your property this year compared to last year;
2. Tax-saving exemptions, if any, on your property this year and last year; and
3. The tax amounts and special fees proposed by each of your various taxing authorities (School Board, County Commission, City Commission, etc.); a comparison of the proposed new taxes versus last year’s taxes; and the locations and dates of the public hearings where you can voice your views on the proposed rates, according to the Broward County Property Appraiser website.
There is indeed a lot of detail included in the TRIM Notice. A booklet is included to walk homeowners through each section and contains detailed explanations. Should you have more questions, the Broward Country Property Appraiser website has an excellent Frequently Asked Questions section and a friendly staff available via phone or e-mail.
Dear Pink Realtor,
My TRIM Notice shows my proposed taxes are going up this year. The value of my house has definitely gone down, but the taxes are higher! How is this possible? Obviously Broward needs the money for schools etc., but why am I paying more taxes when my home is worth less?
Paying the Price
One possible explanation is the homestead “recapture” rule. If you have a Homestead Exemption and your “Save Our Homes” (SOH) value is less than the market value as of Jan. 1, Florida Administrative Code Rule 12D-8.0062(5) orders the Property Appraiser to increase your overall assessed value each year (up to the 3 percent annual cap level) until it eventually reaches the same amount as the market value.
The Department of Revenue set this year’s SOH rate at 2.7 percent. Roughly 177,000 Broward homeowners will unfortunately experience the recapture effects of this law in 2010, even though their overall market values fell. Those impacted by recapture are mostly owners who either purchased and homesteaded their properties before 2001 or newer purchasers who recently moved portability savings to a new property. Talk to your State Senator and Representative if you believe this recapture provision should be amended or repealed.
If you believe the assessed value of your property is higher than the fair market value, contact the Broward Country Property Appraiser. Call 954-357-6830 and ask to speak with a deputy appraiser. If they are not able to quickly resolve the matter, file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board by the Sept. 20, 2010 deadline.
IMPORTANT: If you wait until you receive your tax bill in November, it will be too late to make any changes to your assessed value and the tax rates.