When we last spoke about my property taxes, the tax assessor’s office was dragging their feet on my property valuation. The deadline for filing a hearing request with the Value Adjustment Board (the county magistrate that sets property values) was fast approaching, so I filed for a hearing.

This morning, I got a phone call from the director of the tax assessor’s office. They tried telling me that the sale price I would sell the house for is not the same thing as the market value. Then they said that the value as set by the appraiser that I hired was not the same thing, and besides (they said) the appraisal wasn’t the cleanest one, and that they would be attacking it in court.

The carrot:

Then they asked me if there was a value that I would be willing to drop my case for. I gave them a number, and they weren’t happy with it. Still, we aren’t that far apart, and I can defend the number I’m asking for. There isn’t a single property in this area that has sold below that in the past two years.

The stick

Then they said that they know I own multiple properties, and they would be making sure that, if I were to win my case, my non-homesteaded properties would be increased in value as well, which would increase my taxes. I took copious notes. If that shit happens, there will be a lawsuit. You can’t single me out for retribution because I exercised my rights under the law.

They told me that there are property owners who think that the market values in the area are too high, which is making taxes high. I pointed out that increasing property values wouldn’t hurt residents because the SOH tax credit limits increases to 3% per year. They responded by saying that there are some commercial property owners in the area that don’t want to see valuations go up because taxes on rental properties in the area will go up. They (the tax office) isn’t willing to take on the big companies, so they are going to oppose my request.

Translated: We the tax office are owned by the large companies, and we will fight you tooth and nail, even to the detriment of the taxpayers we are supposed to represent.

Categories: Governmenttyranny


poppi · September 21, 2023 at 10:49 am

Basing real estate taxes on something as subjective as assessed “value” will always lead to conflict between owners and the taxman.
Who’s to say what something is worth… is a house with a swimming pool more valuable, or less valuable? could be either.

Since there are two aspects to determining the tax due, namely the assessment and the tax rate, politicians have the opportunity to obscure what they’re doing; they could simultaneously lower tax rates and re-assess properties at a higher value, or go the other
route and raise the tax rates but lower everyone’s assessment. Either way could be used to obscure what actually happens, more tax revenues taken from homeowners. But the politicians will get the opportunity to crow about how they lowered everyone’s assessment, or that they lowered the tax rates. They’ll never both lower rates and assessments at the same time; that would bring lower costs to homeowners.

There is something about a bureaucrat inspecting my property and determining his idea of a valuation, which sticks in my craw as being anti-american, even communistic.

I would rather that the real estate tax be based on something objective and unchanging, like acreage and squarefootage. Let the politicians raise the rates if they need more revenue, the theft will be more obvious to the public.

Aesop · September 21, 2023 at 10:24 pm

Nice of them to step in it for you.

Wild curiosity: Is FL a one-party state, or a two-party state, for legally taping phone convos?

Just wondering.

    Divemedic · September 22, 2023 at 4:35 am

    Two party. So you take notes, which are admissible.

      Aesop · September 22, 2023 at 5:08 am

      Or you record anyways, transcribing that into exquisitely accurate admissible notes, and then you 86 the tape. Like the police and 86 agencies do, without telling anyone before or after. Sauce for the gander.

      I’m also not sure how FL law looks at it, but even though Califrutopia is also a two-party state, any “expectation of privacy” goes out the window if the call is a) on speaker phone with others present, or b) another person is identified as “listening in” on an extension, at either end. (“Hey, you don’t mind if my wife picks up too, do you?”)

      If I was in your shoes, I’d blow a few bucks on attorney’s fees for a consult, for future reference. It sounds like it could be seed money to a tidy settlement down the road.

      Although it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good handle on that.

      Like rust, it’s clear that the Sheriff of Nottingham never sleeps.

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