Maji's Market Minute September 3, 2022

How to reduce property taxes

In today’s Maji’s Market Minute, we are going to discuss how to appeal property taxes. Last week you should have received your Trim notice and as I mentioned in last week’s edition, this is the time to review them. 

First thing you want to do is go to Follow the instructions, download the documents and pay close attention to the deadlines. These are written in stone. Remember the Property Appraiser’s office has no way of knowing the actual view or condition of your property and it is up to you to prove why your taxable value should be reduced. 
I did this 3 years ago on an investment property I owned. This video is simply outlining how I did that as a property owner, not as a Realtor.  
Disclaimer: I am NOT an attorney or an accountant. Please seek professional advice prior to trying any of these options. 
Start with a search for COMPARABLE PROPERTIES. You can find comparable properties on the website under public records or any number of consumer property websites. This is a little complicated because Florida is a Homestead state so you need to make sure you find properties similar to yours, similar size & age in the same neighborhood or building, that have sold within the last year This is important because of the Homestead Exemption. If you find a property with a low tax rate you will need to pull up the history to determine why. It may be that the prior owner had Homestead Exemption for many years that rolled over temporarily to the new owner. That is not a real tax base. Those taxes will go up and this is not a good comp.Try to provide as many comps as possible because some of them will not work. 
Other considerations:
The Property Appraiser’s office may not know for example that your house backs up to a busy street and a comp with similar taxable value backs up to a park. Your home would be worth less. You will need to document this with photos, mls brochures, etc. You need proof. 
If you are in a condo, they may not know the difference in views. If your unit has a view of a busy street and the comp has a view of the ocean, your taxable value should be less. Again you need photos, mls brochures and proof of both your property and the comp. 
I would use both pics and video as proof as you may need to bring printed copies of your package and a video does not print. 
Let’s say your next door neighbor has a similar property tax value to yours, they sold within the last year, but they have a state-of-the-art kitchen. Their house has a $200,000 kitchen and it’s really maxed out and they have impact windows. Your kitchen is nice, but it’s from the 90s and you have hurricane shutters. Well, that can be used to reduce your property values. You will need pics of your kitchen and the mlx interior pics of the neighbor’s house or mls brochure. You need proof
What if you are in a condo building? In buildings the CONDITION applies not only to your condo unit but the building itself. Let’s say it’s an older building that has structural deficiencies, in this case your building would be worth less.This is happening a lot with older buildings right now with all the recent changes to recertifications. You would need to provide documentation from the condo association regarding any major projects/deficiencies.
What if you are competing with a lot of newer buildings with smart technology and your building was built in the 80-90’s? That could also reduce the value of your building. (I would include recent articles to support this argument.) In this case you may not be searching for comparable properties in the same neighborhood but in a very hot area closest to yours where values have risen)
If it is not a homesteaded property this can also gets tricky and you definitely need to discuss with your accountant prior to using these 
 Let’s say your property is not a homesteaded property and it’s a rental property. (an investment property or a second home that you rent out.) 
You could use LOSS OF REVENUE.
Let’s say you are getting hit with major repair expenses or assessments and you are not covering your costs with rental income. You will have to provide proof (invoices or documentation regarding projects or condo assessments).
In the case of a building that is undergoing a major renovation that is loud where amenities are closed, that would also affect the desirability of your property and make it more difficult to rent.
*** Whatever you put as your rental income must match your income tax return. You will have to provide copies of leases. 
Remember I am NOT an attorney or accountant. I am providing information as a homeowner/agent who was able to successfully reduce their property taxes.
Lastly, there are companies and attorneys that provide this service which may be a lot easier. Just make sure they understand and utilize all these ways to appeal property taxes. It will make all the difference. 

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With gratitude,Maji Pace Ramos,
Maji Ramos Real Estate Advisor, P.A• Miami Realtor since 1993
• 2nd Generation Realtor
• Negotiation Specialist
• Market Trends Specialist
• Miami native