By Ben Solomon, Esq.,
Association Law Group, PL 

Miami, Florida
Every August, the Office of the Property Appraiser mails a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes to all property owners. Also known as a “TRIM Notice,” the notice reflects what the property taxes are likely to be on the November property tax bill. It is worth noting that there is a consistent property tax appeal in Miami, compared to other states and cities in Florida.
A number of factors can come into play when it comes to determining if the proposed taxes are a fair estimate. For example, failure to recognize the recent slowdown in the real estate market could mean the tax estimate is higher than it should be. To ward against paying more than their fair share of taxes, property owners have the option to petition for an appeal. And condo owners have a unique opportunity where tax appeals are concerned.
Florida law allows condominium association Boards to file a joint petition for property tax appeal to cover all units in the building. In theory, if one unit in the building receives a TRIM Notice with unfairly high property taxes, then chances are the other units did also. Thus, filing a single petition is an efficient way for associations to ensure their owners are not overpaying property taxes. For those unit owners that do not wish to participate, Florida law provides a simple process for opting out of the joint tax appeal.
In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the filing deadline for these joint appeals is fast approaching – Monday, September 19th – so now is the time to protect your property owners and make sure they are not paying more than their fair share of property taxes. You certainly want your property owners to remain satisfied by reaping the benefits of the property tax appeal in Miami.
If the appeal is successful and a tax reduction is granted, the tax collector will issue a refund directly to whomever paid the unit’s property taxes (i.e., the unit owner or the owner’s lender, if they have a mortgage and escrow such tax amounts). 
Community associations may wish to consult a firm that specializes in property tax abatement as they are uniquely equipped to handle these appeals. The good news is the entire process is very low risk as these firms work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only bill the client if they receive a refund, and they bill each individual unit owner directly so that there is no liability or payments due by your association. To get more insight into how FirstService Residential can serve your community, please contact us today, or take a look at our extensive resource library.
Friday September 09, 2016