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Land Trusts and Non-Homestead Residential Property

We have heard that Miami-Dade and Duval Counties’ property appraisers have been treating any conveyance of non-homestead residential property into a land trust as a “conveyance.” This is important because, under Florida Statute Section 193.1554(3), non-homestead residential property is subject to a valuation increase cap of ten percent each year.

This means that, even if non-homestead residential property increases in value by 25% in a year, it can’t be assessed at a valuation greater than 10% higher than the prior year’s valuation. It also means that, over a period of time, the tax valuation of the property and the actual fair market value of the property could eventually move very far away from each other.

When the property is “conveyed,” however, the appraiser is permitted to assess the property at the current fair market value, and the caps are reset at this new value.

We have heard of some investors facing increases in tax value as much as $14,000.00, which increases their taxes accordingly.

The appraisers sent out TRIM notices last month, and most have a process whereby property owners can informally discuss the valuation with the property appraiser’s office to see if there is a way to adjust the valuation. However, if that is not fruitful, the owner can appeal to the county’s Adjustment Board. The deadline in most counties to file this appeal is September 18, so it is important to review TRIM notices quickly and file the appeals prior to the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, there is no opportunity to appeal the valuation until the following year.

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