2016 Florida Statutes
Hearing procedures; rules.
Hearing procedures; rules.
194.034 Hearing procedures; rules.—
(1)(a) Petitioners before the board may be represented by an employee of the taxpayer or an affiliated entity, an attorney who is a member of The Florida Bar, a real estate appraiser licensed under chapter 475, a real estate broker licensed under chapter 475, or a certified public accountant licensed under chapter 473, retained by the taxpayer. Such person may present testimony and other evidence.
(b) A petitioner before the board may also be represented by a person with a power of attorney to act on the taxpayer’s behalf. Such person may present testimony and other evidence. The power of attorney must conform to the requirements of part II of chapter 709, is valid only to represent a single petitioner in a single assessment year, and must identify the parcels for which the taxpayer has granted the person the authority to represent the taxpayer. The Department of Revenue shall adopt a form that meets the requirements of this paragraph. However, a petitioner is not required to use the department’s form to grant the power of attorney.
(c) A petitioner before the board may also be represented by a person with written authorization to act on the taxpayer’s behalf, for which such person receives no compensation. Such person may present testimony and other evidence. The written authorization is valid only to represent a single petitioner in a single assessment year and must identify the parcels for which the taxpayer authorizes the person to represent the taxpayer. The Department of Revenue shall adopt a form that meets the requirements of this paragraph. However, a petitioner is not required to use the department’s form to grant the authorization.
(d) The property appraiser or his or her authorized representatives may be represented by an attorney in defending the property appraiser’s assessment or opposing an exemption and may present testimony and other evidence.
(e) The property appraiser, each petitioner, and all witnesses shall be required, upon the request of either party, to testify under oath as administered by the chair of the board. Hearings shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by rules of the department, which rules shall include the right of cross-examination of any witness.
(f) Nothing herein shall preclude an aggrieved taxpayer from contesting his or her assessment in the manner provided by s. 194.171, regardless of whether he or she has initiated an action pursuant to s. 194.011.
(g) The rules shall provide that no evidence shall be considered by the board except when presented during the time scheduled for the petitioner’s hearing or at a time when the petitioner has been given reasonable notice; that a verbatim record of the proceedings shall be made, and proof of any documentary evidence presented shall be preserved and made available to the Department of Revenue, if requested; and that further judicial proceedings shall be as provided in s. 194.036.
(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a petitioner may not present for consideration, and a board or special magistrate may not accept for consideration, testimony or other evidentiary materials that were requested of the petitioner in writing by the property appraiser of which the petitioner had knowledge but denied to the property appraiser.
(i) Chapter 120 does not apply to hearings of the value adjustment board.
(j) An assessment may not be contested unless a return as required by s. 193.052 was timely filed. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “timely filed” means filed by the deadline established in s. 193.062 or before the expiration of any extension granted under s. 193.063. If notice is mailed pursuant to s. 193.073(1)(a), a complete return must be submitted under s. 193.073(1)(a) for the assessment to be contested.
(2) In each case, except if the complaint is withdrawn by the petitioner or if the complaint is acknowledged as correct by the property appraiser, the value adjustment board shall render a written decision. All such decisions shall be issued within 20 calendar days after the last day the board is in session under s. 194.032. The decision of the board must contain findings of fact and conclusions of law and must include reasons for upholding or overturning the determination of the property appraiser. Findings of fact must be based on admitted evidence or a lack thereof. If a special magistrate has been appointed, the recommendations of the special magistrate shall be considered by the board. The clerk, upon issuance of a decision, shall, on a form provided by the Department of Revenue, notify each taxpayer and the property appraiser of the decision of the board. This notification shall be by first-class mail or by electronic means if selected by the taxpayer on the originally filed petition. If requested by the Department of Revenue, the clerk shall provide to the department a copy of the decision or information relating to the tax impact of the findings and results of the board as described in s. 194.037 in the manner and form requested.
(3) Appearance before an advisory board or agency created by the county may not be required as a prerequisite condition to appearing before the value adjustment board.
(4) A condominium homeowners’ association may appear before the board to present testimony and evidence regarding the assessment of condominium units which the association represents. Such testimony and evidence shall be considered by the board with respect to hearing petitions filed by individual condominium unit owners, unless the owner requests otherwise.
(5) For the purposes of review of a petition, the board may consider assessments among comparable properties within homogeneous areas or neighborhoods.
(6) For purposes of hearing joint petitions filed pursuant to s. 194.011(3)(e), each included parcel shall be considered by the board as a separate petition. Such separate petitions shall be heard consecutively by the board. If a special magistrate is appointed, such separate petitions shall all be assigned to the same special magistrate.
History.—s. 21, ch. 83-204; s. 12, ch. 83-216; s. 3, ch. 86-175; s. 147, ch. 91-112; s. 2, ch. 92-32; s. 980, ch. 95-147; s. 71, ch. 2004-11; s. 2, ch. 2011-181; s. 12, ch. 2012-193; s. 4, ch. 2013-192; s. 11, ch. 2016-128.