Bill No. CS/HB 909
Amendment No. 628963
Senate House

1Representative Attkisson offered the following:
3     Amendment (with title amendment)
4     Remove everything after the enacting clause and insert:
5     Section 1.  Subsection (5) of section 194.011, Florida
6Statutes, is amended to read:
7     194.011  Assessment notice; objections to assessments.--
8     (5)(a)  The department shall by rule prescribe uniform
9procedures for hearings before the value adjustment board which
10include requiring:
11     1.(a)  Procedures for the exchange of information and
12evidence by the property appraiser and the petitioner consistent
13with s. 194.032.; and
14     2.(b)  That the value adjustment board hold an
15organizational meeting for the purpose of making these
16procedures available to petitioners.
17     (b)  The Division of Administrative Hearings shall adopt,
18with assistance from the department, uniform procedures that
19shall be used by value adjustment boards, certified attorney
20special magistrates, taxpayers, certified real property
21appraisal special magistrates, and certified tangible personal
22property appraisal special magistrates in proceedings before
23value adjustment boards. The procedures shall be adopted as
24rules under the provisions of chapter 120 and shall be based on
25provisions in chapter 28-106 of the Uniform Rules of Procedure
26that are modified to promote procedures conducted by value
27adjustment boards and certified special magistrates that are
28accessible, fair, impartial, straightforward, and uniform
29throughout the state. These procedures shall include relevant
30provisions of chapter 194 and promote uniform and fair processes
31for the conduct of hearings on value adjustment board petitions
32that provide an equitable property tax appeal process in
33furtherance of statutory and constitutional requirements. The
34procedures shall be made available, at a minimum, on the
35division's website, the department's website, and on the
36existing websites of the clerks of circuit courts.
37     (c)  The department shall adopt forms that govern the
38conduct of hearings on value adjustment board petitions.
39     (d)  The department shall adopt a manual that shall contain
40at a minimum, the procedures adopted pursuant to paragraph (b)
41and the forms adopted pursuant to paragraph (c). The provisions
42of s. 120.536 shall not apply to this paragraph, and paragraphs
43(b) and (c).
44     (e)  Hearings on petitions to value adjustment boards and
45hearings conducted by certified special magistrates are not
46proceedings governed by s. 120.569 or s. 120.57.
47     Section 2.  Section 194.015, Florida Statutes, is amended
48to read:
49     194.015  Value adjustment board.--There is hereby created a
50value adjustment board for each county, which shall consist of
51three members of the governing body of the county as elected
52from the membership of the board of said governing body, one of
53whom shall be elected chairperson, and one member two members of
54the school board as elected from the membership of the school
55board, and two citizen members, one of whom shall be appointed
56by the governing body of the county and must own homestead
57property within the county and one of whom must be appointed by
58the school board and must own a business occupying commercial
59space located within the school district. A citizen member may
60not be a member or an employee of any taxing authority, and may
61not be a person who represents property owners in any
62administrative or judicial review of property taxes. The members
63of the board may be temporarily replaced by other members of the
64respective boards on appointment by their respective
65chairpersons. Any three members shall constitute a quorum of the
66board, except that each quorum must include at least one member
67of said governing board, and at least one member of the school
68board, and at least one citizen member and no meeting of the
69board shall take place unless a quorum is present. Members of
70the board may receive such per diem compensation as is allowed
71by law for state employees if both bodies elect to allow such
72compensation. The clerk of the governing body of the county
73shall be the clerk of the value adjustment board. The office of
74the county attorney may be counsel to the board unless the
75county attorney represents the property appraiser, in which
76instance The board shall appoint private counsel who has
77practiced law for over 5 years and who shall receive such
78compensation as may be established by the board. The private
79counsel may not represent the property appraiser, the tax
80collector, any taxing authority, or any property owner in any
81administrative or judicial review of property taxes. No meeting
82of the board shall take place unless counsel to the board is
83present. However, counsel for the property appraiser shall not
84be required when the county attorney represents only the board
85at the board hearings, even though the county attorney may
86represent the property appraiser in other matters or at a
87different time. Two-fifths of the expenses of the board shall be
88borne by the district school board and three-fifths by the
89district county commission.
90     Section 3.  Section 194.035, Florida Statutes, is amended
91to read:
92     194.035  Special magistrates; property evaluators.--
93     (1)  Each value adjustment In counties having a population
94of more than 75,000, the board shall appoint special magistrates
95for the purpose of taking testimony and making recommendations
96to the board, which recommendations the board may act upon
97without further hearing. These special magistrates may not be
98elected or appointed officials or employees of the county but
99shall be selected from a list of those qualified individuals who
100are willing to serve as special magistrates. Employees and
101elected or appointed officials of a taxing jurisdiction or of
102the state may not serve as special magistrates. The clerk of the
103board shall annually notify such individuals or their
104professional associations to make known to them that
105opportunities to serve as special magistrates exist. The
106Department of Revenue shall provide a list of qualified special
107magistrates to any county with a population of 75,000 or less.
108Subject to appropriation, the department shall reimburse
109counties with a population of 75,000 or less for payments made
110to special magistrates appointed for the purpose of taking
111testimony and making recommendations to the value adjustment
112board pursuant to this section. The department shall establish a
113reasonable range for payments per case to special magistrates
114based on such payments in other counties. Requests for
115reimbursement of payments outside this range shall be justified
116by the county. If the total of all requests for reimbursement in
117any year exceeds the amount available pursuant to this section,
118payments to all counties shall be prorated accordingly. A
119special magistrate appointed to hear issues of exemptions and
120classifications shall be a member of The Florida Bar with no
121less than 5 years' experience in the area of ad valorem
122taxation. A special magistrate appointed to hear issues
123regarding the valuation of real estate shall be a state
124certified real estate appraiser with not less than 5 years'
125experience in real property valuation. A special magistrate
126appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of tangible
127personal property shall be a designated member of a nationally
128recognized appraiser's organization with not less than 5 years'
129experience in tangible personal property valuation. A special
130magistrate need not be a resident of the county in which he or
131she serves. A special magistrate may not represent a person
132before the board in any tax year during which he or she has
133served that board as a special magistrate. Before appointing a
134special magistrate, a value adjustment board shall verify the
135special magistrate's qualifications. The value adjustment board
136shall ensure that the selection of special magistrates is based
137solely upon the experience and qualifications of the special
138magistrate and is not influenced by the property appraiser. The
139special magistrate shall accurately and completely preserve all
140testimony and, in making recommendations to the value adjustment
141board, shall include proposed findings of fact, conclusions of
142law, and reasons for upholding or overturning the determination
143of the property appraiser. The board shall appoint special
144magistrates from the list so compiled prior to convening of the
145board. The expense of hearings before magistrates and any
146compensation of special magistrates shall be borne three-fifths
147by the board of county commissioners and two-fifths by the
148school board.
149     (2)  The value adjustment board of each county may employ
150qualified property appraisers or evaluators to appear before the
151value adjustment board at that meeting of the board which is
152held for the purpose of hearing complaints. Such property
153appraisers or evaluators shall present testimony as to the just
154value of any property the value of which is contested before the
155board and shall submit to examination by the board, the
156taxpayer, and the property appraiser.
157     (3)  The department shall provide and conduct training for
158special magistrates at least once each state fiscal year in at
159least five locations throughout the state. Such training shall
160emphasize the department's standard measures of value, including
161the guidelines for real and tangible personal property.
162Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person who has 3 years of
163relevant experience and who has completed the training provided
164by the department under this subsection may be appointed as a
165special magistrate. The training shall be open to the public.
166The department shall charte tuition fees to any person attending
167this training in an amount sufficient to fund the department's
168costs to conduct all aspects of the training. The department
169shall deposit the fees collected into the Certification Program
170Trust Fund pursuant to s. 195.002(2).
171     Section 4.  Section 194.0355, Florida Statutes, is created
172to read:
173     194.0355  Motion to consider violation of uniform practices
174and procedures governing hearing before value adjustment boards
175or special masters.--
176     (1)  This section applies when there is a motion filed by
177the taxpayer or the property appraiser asserting that there was
178a material violation of the law or the rules governing the
179hearing of a petition.
180     (2)  The motion must be filed by the taxpayer or the
181property appraiser initially to the value adjustment board. In
182support of the motion, the taxpayer or property appraiser shall
183include a copy of the record of the hearing at which the
184asserted material violation occurred and a motion stating the
185particular circumstances of the violation. The value adjustment
186board shall make a written determination concerning the motion
187material violation within in 14 days of receipt of the motion.
188     (3)  If the concerns of the taxpayer or property appraiser
189are not resolved by the value adjustment board, the party
190asserting a material violation may appeal to the board of county
192     (4)  The appeal to the board of county commissioners must
193be in the form prescribed by the department and must be
194accompanied by a copy of the record of the proceedings.
195     (5)  Boards of county commissioners shall place the
196consideration of such assertions on their next available agenda,
197which shall be no later than 30 days after the filing of the
198form and record with the governing body of the county. In all
199circumstances, the board of county commissioners shall issue a
200written decision. The written decision shall contain findings of
201fact and conclusions of law and shall include reasons for a
202finding that a material violation of the law has occurred.
203     (6)  If the board of county commissioners finds that a
204material violation of law occurred, the board shall issue
205appropriate instructions to the value adjustment board or
206certified special magistrate that may include directions that a
207new hearing be held or that a different certified special
208magistrate be assigned to hear the case.
209     (7)  The value adjustment board shall not render a decision
210until the procedures in this section are exhausted.
211     Section 5.  Subsection (1) of section 194.037, Florida
212Statutes, is amended to read:
213     194.037  Disclosure of tax impact.--
214     (1)  After hearing all petitions, complaints, appeals, and
215disputes, the clerk shall make public notice of the findings and
216results of the board in at least a quarter-page size
217advertisement of a standard size or tabloid size newspaper, and
218the headline shall be in a type no smaller than 18 point. The
219advertisement shall not be placed in that portion of the
220newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements
221appear. The advertisement shall be published in a newspaper of
222general paid circulation in the county. The newspaper selected
223shall be one of general interest and readership in the
224community, and not one of limited subject matter, pursuant to
225chapter 50. The headline shall read: TAX IMPACT OF VALUE
226ADJUSTMENT BOARD. The public notice shall list the members of
227the value adjustment board and the taxing authorities to which
228they are elected. The form shall show, in columnar form, for
229each of the property classes listed under subsection (2), the
230following information, with appropriate column totals:
231     (a)  In the first column, the number of parcels for which
232the board granted exemptions that had been denied or that had
233not been acted upon by the property appraiser.
234     (b)  In the second column, the number of parcels for which
235petitions were filed concerning a property tax exemption.
236     (c)  In the third column, the number of parcels for which
237the board considered the petition and reduced the assessment
238from that made by the property appraiser on the initial
239assessment roll.
240     (d)  In the fourth column, the number of parcels for which
241petitions were filed but not considered by the board because
242such petitions were withdrawn or settled prior to the board's
244     (e)(d)  In the fifth fourth column, the number of parcels
245for which petitions were filed requesting a change in assessed
246value, including requested changes in assessment classification.
247     (f)(e)  In the sixth fifth column, the net change in
248taxable value from the assessor's initial roll which results
249from board decisions.
250     (g)(f)  In the seventh sixth column, the net shift in taxes
251to parcels not granted relief by the board. The shift shall be
252computed as the amount shown in column 6 5 multiplied by the
253applicable millage rates adopted by the taxing authorities in
254hearings held pursuant to s. 200.065(2)(d) or adopted by vote of
255the electors pursuant to s. 9(b) or s. 12, Art. VII of the State
256Constitution, but without adjustment as authorized pursuant to
257s. 200.065(6). If for any taxing authority the hearing has not
258been completed at the time the notice required herein is
259prepared, the millage rate used shall be that adopted in the
260hearing held pursuant to s. 200.065(2)(c).
261     Section 6.  It is the express intent of the Legislature
262that a taxpayer shall never have the burden of proving that the
263property appraiser's assessment is not supported by any
264reasonable hypothesis of a legal assessment and all cases
265setting out such a standard were expressly rejected
266legislatively upon the adoption of chapter 97-85, Laws of
267Florida. It is the further intent of the Legislature that any
268cases of law published since 1997 citing the every-reasonable-
269hypothesis standard are expressly rejected to the extent that
270they are interpretive of legislative intent.
271     Section 7.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.
T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T
276     Remove the entire title and insert:
A bill to be entitled
278An act relating to value adjustment boards; amending s. 194.011,
279F.S.; requiring the Division of Administrative Hearings to
280develop a uniform policies and procedures manual and forms for
281use in proceedings before value adjustment boards; providing
282requirements for the manual and procedures; specifying certain
283hearings as not governed by certain provisions of the
284Administrative Procedures Act; amending s. 194.015, F.S.;
285revising the membership of value adjustment boards; providing
286for citizen members; revising criteria related to appointment to
287such boards; revising quorum requirements; deleting provisions
288authorizing county attorneys to act as counsel for value
289adjustment boards; limiting private counsel representation of
290certain persons; amending s. 194.035, F.S.; providing that a
291requirement that value adjustment boards appoint special
292magistrates for certain purposes applies to all counties;
293requiring value adjustment boards to verify the qualifications
294of special magistrates prior to appointment; providing selection
295criteria; requiring the department to provide and conduct
296training for special magistrates; providing training
297requirements; requiring the department to charge tuition fees;
298providing for deposit of such fees; creating s. 194.0355, F.S.;
299providing application; providing requirements for motions
300asserting violations of law or rules governing hearing
301petitions; providing for appeal to the board of county
302commissioners; providing requirements for appeal; providing
303requirements for boards of county commissioners in hearing such
304appeals; requiring the board to issue instructions to the value
305adjustment board under certain circumstances; prohibiting value
306adjustment boards from rendering decisions until certain
307procedures are exhausted; amending s. 194.037, F.S.; revising
308information required to be provided on the disclosure of tax
309impact form; providing legislative intent; specifying that
310taxpayers are precluded from having certain burdens of proof;
311providing an effective date.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.