TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - June 4, 2009 - Home and business owners who think their local tax bill is too high caught a break today when Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill that makes it easier to challenge how much a property is worth.
Flanked by business and real estate leaders, Crist put his name to HB 521. The bill lowers the burden of proof for owners who dispute property tax assessments to a preponderance of the evidence - a lower standard than the clear and convincing threshold they now must meet to overturn a property appraiser's estimate.
Local governments had successfully scuttled earlier efforts to lower the standard. In the just-signed version, property appraisers still enjoy the presumption that their estimates are correct, but the legislative analysts say the bill will cost local governments $157 million during the current fiscal year, increasing to $693 million a year by 2013.
Axel & Bea Weiss