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The Florida Senate

2006 Florida Statutes

Section 195.096, Florida Statutes 2006

195.096  Review of assessment rolls.--

(1)  The assessment rolls of each county shall be subject to review by the Department of Revenue.

(2)  The department shall conduct, no less frequently than once every 2 years, an in-depth review of the assessment rolls of each county. The department need not individually study every use-class of property set forth in s. 195.073, but shall at a minimum study the level of assessment in relation to just value of each classification specified in subsection (3). Such in-depth review may include proceedings of the value adjustment board and the audit or review of procedures used by the counties to appraise property.

(a)  The department shall, at least 30 days prior to the beginning of an in-depth review in any county, notify the property appraiser in the county of the pending review. At the request of the property appraiser, the department shall consult with the property appraiser regarding the classifications and strata to be studied, in order that the review will be useful to the property appraiser in evaluating his or her procedures.

(b)  Every property appraiser whose upcoming roll is subject to an in-depth review shall, if requested by the department on or before January 1, deliver upon completion of the assessment roll a list of the parcel numbers of all parcels that did not appear on the assessment roll of the previous year, indicating the parcel number of the parent parcel from which each new parcel was created or "cut out."

(c)  In conducting assessment ratio studies, the department must use all practicable steps, including stratified statistical and analytical reviews and sale-qualification studies, to maximize the representativeness or statistical reliability of samples of properties in tests of each classification, stratum, or roll made the subject of a ratio study published by it. The department shall document and retain records of the measures of representativeness of the properties studied in compliance with this section. Such documentation must include a record of findings used as the basis for the approval or disapproval of the tax roll in each county pursuant to s. 193.1142 In addition, to the greatest extent practicable, the department shall study assessment roll strata by subclassifications such as value groups and market areas for each classification or stratum to be studied, to maximize the representativeness of ratio study samples. For purposes of this section, the department shall rely primarily on an assessment-to-sales-ratio study in conducting assessment ratio studies in those classifications of property specified in subsection (3) for which there are adequate market sales. The department shall compute the median and the value-weighted mean for each classification or subclassification studied and for the roll as a whole.

(d)  In the conduct of these reviews, the department shall adhere to all standards to which the property appraisers are required to adhere.

(e)  The department and each property appraiser shall cooperate in the conduct of these reviews, and each shall make available to the other all matters and records bearing on the preparation and computation of the reviews. The property appraisers shall provide any and all data requested by the department in the conduct of the studies, including electronic data processing tapes. Any and all data and samples developed or obtained by the department in the conduct of the studies shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until a presentation of the findings of the study is made to the property appraiser. After the presentation of the findings, the department shall provide any and all data requested by a property appraiser developed or obtained in the conduct of the studies, including tapes. Direct reimbursable costs of providing the data shall be borne by the party who requested it. Copies of existing data or records, whether maintained or required pursuant to law or rule, or data or records otherwise maintained, shall be submitted within 30 days from the date requested, in the case of written or printed information, and within 14 days from the date requested, in the case of computerized information.

(f)  Within 120 days following the receipt of a county assessment roll by the executive director of the department pursuant to s. 193.1142(1), or within 10 days after approval of the assessment roll, whichever is later, the department shall complete the review for that county and forward its findings, including a statement of the confidence interval for the median and such other measures as may be appropriate for each classification or subclassification studied and for the roll as a whole, employing a 95-percent level of confidence, and related statistical and analytical details to the Senate and the House of Representatives committees with oversight responsibilities for taxation, and the appropriate property appraiser. Upon releasing its findings, the department shall notify the chairperson of the appropriate county commission or the corresponding official under a consolidated charter that the department's findings are available upon request. The department shall, within 90 days after receiving a written request from the chairperson of the appropriate county commission or the corresponding official under a consolidated charter, forward a copy of its findings, including the confidence interval for the median and such other measures of each classification or subclassification 1studied and for all the roll as a whole, and related statistical and analytical details, to the requesting party.

(3)(a)  Upon completion of review pursuant to paragraph (2)(f), the department shall publish the results of reviews conducted under this section. The results must include all statistical and analytical measures computed under this section for the real property assessment roll as a whole, the personal property assessment roll as a whole, and independently for the following real property classes whenever the classes constituted 5 percent or more of the total assessed value of real property in a county on the previous tax roll:

1.  Residential property that consists of one primary living unit, including, but not limited to, single-family residences, condominiums, cooperatives, and mobile homes.

2.  Residential property that consists of two or more primary living units.

3.  Agricultural, high-water recharge, historic property used for commercial or certain nonprofit purposes, and other use-valued property.

4.  Vacant lots.

5.  Nonagricultural acreage and other undeveloped parcels.

6.  Improved commercial and industrial property.

7.  Taxable institutional or governmental, utility, locally assessed railroad, oil, gas and mineral land, subsurface rights, and other real property.

When one of the above classes constituted less than 5 percent of the total assessed value of all real property in a county on the previous assessment roll, the department may combine it with one or more other classes of real property for purposes of assessment ratio studies or use the weighted average of the other classes for purposes of calculating the level of assessment for all real property in a county. The department shall also publish such results for any subclassifications of the classes or assessment rolls it may have chosen to study.

(b)  When necessary for compliance with s. 1011.62, and for those counties not being studied in the current year, the department shall project value-weighted mean levels of assessment for each county. The department shall make its projection based upon the best information available, utilizing professionally accepted methodology, and shall separately allocate changes in total assessed value to:

1.  New construction, additions, and deletions.

2.  Changes in the value of the dollar.

3.  Changes in the market value of property other than those attributable to changes in the value of the dollar.

4.  Changes in the level of assessment.

In lieu of the statistical and analytical measures published pursuant to paragraph (a), the department shall publish details concerning the computation of estimated assessment levels and the allocation of changes in assessed value for those counties not subject to an in-depth review.

(4)  It is declared to be the legislative intent that approval of the rolls by the department pursuant to s. 193.1142 and certification by the value adjustment board pursuant to s. 193.122(1) shall not be deemed to impugn the use of postcertification reviews to require adjustments in the preparation of succeeding assessment rolls to ensure that such succeeding assessment rolls do meet the constitutional mandates of just value.

(5)  It is the legislative intent that the department utilize to the fullest extent practicable objective measures of market value in the conduct of reviews pursuant to this section.

(6)  Reviews conducted under this section must include an evaluation of whether nonhomestead exempt values determined by the appraiser under applicable provisions of chapter 196 are correct and whether agricultural and high-water recharge classifications and classifications of historic property used for commercial and certain nonprofit purposes were granted in accordance with law.

(7)  The Auditor General shall conduct a performance audit of the administration of ad valorem tax laws by the department triennially following completion of reviews conducted pursuant to this section. The audit report shall be submitted to the Legislature no later than April 1, on a triennial basis, reporting on the activities of the ad valorem tax program of the Department of Revenue related to the ad valorem tax rolls. The Auditor General shall include, for at least four counties so reviewed, findings as to the accuracy of assessment procedures, projections, and computations made by the division, utilizing the same generally accepted appraisal standards and procedures to which the division and the property appraisers are required to adhere. However, the report shall not include any findings or statistics related to any ad valorem tax roll which is in litigation between the state and county officials at the time the report is to be issued.

(8)  When a roll is prepared as an interim roll pursuant to s. 193.1145, the department shall compute assessment levels for both the interim roll and the final approved roll.

(9)  Chapter 120 shall not apply to this section.

History.--s. 7, ch. 73-172; ss. 11, 21, ch. 74-234; s. 2, ch. 75-211; s. 13, ch. 76-133; ss. 7, 10, ch. 80-248; s. 18, ch. 80-274; ss. 1, 3, 10, ch. 82-208; ss. 3, 27, 29, 80, ch. 82-226; s. 61, ch. 89-356; s. 134, ch. 91-112; s. 3, ch. 92-32; s. 7, ch. 93-132; ss. 5, 19, ch. 95-272; s. 8, ch. 96-204; s. 7, ch. 96-397; ss. 53, 54, ch. 96-406; s. 7, ch. 97-117; s. 5, ch. 97-287; s. 13, ch. 99-333; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2001-137; s. 49, ch. 2001-266; s. 906, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2005-185; s. 1, ch. 2006-42.

1Note.--The word "studied" was substituted by the editors for the word "studies" to conform to context.