HOME   |   CONTACT US  
ONLINE PAYMENT CENTER PUBLIC RECORDS ATTORNEYS' PAGE SELF HELP CENTER COMMUNITY NEWS
SPENDING IN THE SUNSHINE FINANCIAL REPORTS STATISTICS GET FORMS WATCH VIDEOS
 

 

Value Adjustment Board (VAB) -
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)




Back to VAB Home Page

IN ORDER TO ASSIST PINELLAS COUNTY CITIZENS, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROVIDED IN RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS MOST OFTEN ASKED OF THE CLERK WITH REGARD TO THE FILING OF A VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD PETITION. FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION OF THE VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD PROCESS, YOU MAY GO DIRECTLY TO THE APPROPRIATE FLORIDA STATUTE WHERE INDICATED.

  1. What do I do if I disagree with my property assessment?
  2. Where can I obtain a petition form?
  3. In Part 2 of the petition form, it asks for the amount of time a petitioner should request for a hearing. How much time should be requested?
  4. Is there a fee for filing a petition?
  5. Can I submit my petition by fax or e-mail?
  6. What if I file my petition late?
  7. How do I know when my hearing is scheduled?
  8. What supporting documentation and/or evidence do I need to submit?
  9. When should I submit my supporting documentation and/or evidence?
  10. What do I need to bring to the hearing?
  11. Who will conduct the hearing?
  12. What is a Special Magistrate?
  13. If I am unable to attend the hearing, how do I reschedule?
  14. What if I do not plan to attend my scheduled hearing?
  15. Can someone represent me if I am unable to make my hearing? If so, who can represent me?
  16. How do I withdraw a petition?
  17. If my taxes are due before the decision on my VAB petition is final, should I pay them or wait?
  18. What do I do if I disagree with the decision of the Value Adjustment Board?

1. What do I do if I disagree with my property assessment?

For inquiries regarding your property assessment, homestead exemption or other determinations made by the Property Appraiser, contact: The Property Appraiser's Office . You are entitled to request an informal conference with the Property Appraiser. The informal conference, however, is not required to prior to filing a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. If you disagree with the determination of the Property Appraiser, you may file a petition to the Value Adjustment Board with or without discussing the issues with the Property Appraiser.

2. Where can I obtain a petition form?

You can file your petition online at the Axia website, request a VAB petition form from the Board Records Department by calling (727) 464-3458 or print a form from this site by selecting the desired form under "Petition Forms" from the VAB General Information section. You can also obtain a petition form from the Property Appraiser’s Office.
[return to questions]

3. In Part 2 of the petition form, it asks for the amount of time a petitioner should request for a hearing. How much time should be requested?

The petitioner should request as much time as they estimate they will need to present their case. Most hearings take between fifteen (15) and thirty (30) minutes and are so scheduled unless a specific request for more time is received.
[return to questions]

4. Is there a fee for filing a petition?

Yes, click this link for filing fees.

5. Can I submit my petition by fax or e-mail?

NO. Pinellas County requires that unless the petition is filed online through the Axia website, all petitions must be filed be with original signatures with any applicable filing fees. FAXED OR EMAILED COPIES OF PETITIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. If you are concerned about meeting the filing deadline, file your petition online via the Axia website or send your petition to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Dept., 5th Floor, 315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 via overnight, express mail.
[return to questions]


6. What if I file my petition late?

Petitions received after the deadline are considered “Late Files” and you must provide, in writing, good cause as to why your petition was filed after the deadline. These petitions are then forwarded to the VAB Counsel for review. If the VAB Counsel finds that the petitioner had good cause to submit a petition after the deadline, a hearing will be scheduled for the petition. However, if the VAB counsel finds that there was not good cause for the petition to be submitted late, a hearing will not be scheduled.

The deadline date for submitting petitions for most exemptions and classifications is July 31, 2017, and the deadline for accepting all other petitions is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2017.
[return to questions]

7. How do I know when my hearing is scheduled?

No later than twenty-five (25) calendar days prior to the hearing, you or your agent of record will be notified in writing of the date, time, and location for the hearing. Hearings will be tentatively scheduled from October 2017 through December 2017 of each tax year, but will continue until all petitions have been heard. The hearings are scheduled between 8:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. at all Clearwater hearing locations and between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Clerk's Tyrone hearing location.
[return to questions]

8. What supporting documentation and/or evidence do I need to submit?

Please review the Florida Department of Revenue website for examples of evidence listed in Florida Statute 193.
Note: The Clerk is not responsible for providing information of this type as these are legal matters and each petition may vary in required evidence criteria.
[return to questions]

9. When should I submit my supporting documentation and/or evidence?

All supporting documentation and/or evidence must be submitted to the Property Appraiser no later than fifteen (15) calendar days before your scheduled hearing day as required by the statutory deadline. Specific information about the exchange of evidence requirements between the Property Appraiser and the petitioner is available online at Rule 12D-9.020 on the Department of Revenue website.

NOTICE: No petitioner shall present, nor shall the Board or special magistrate accept, testimony or other evidentiary materials for consideration that were requested of the petitioner in writing by the Property Appraiser of which the petitioner had knowledge and denied to the property appraiser.

Copies of documentation to be considered by the Value Adjustment Board, and a summary of evidence to be presented by witnesses, must be provided by the Petitioner at least fifteen days (15) days prior to your scheduled hearing to:

Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Office
315 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756

DO NOT FILE YOUR EVIDENCE WITH THE CLERK. ALL EVIDENCE MUST BE EXCHANGED WITH THE PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE.

Petitioners MUST also bring copies of any documentation, which has been exchanged with the Property Appraiser’s Office as described above, that they intend to present for consideration to the Special Magistrate at the hearing.
[return to questions]

10. What do I need to bring to the hearing?

You must bring copies of everything that you have previously submitted to the Property Appraiser. You may also want to bring something on which to take notes. All hearings are digitally recorded and can be made available to you for a nominal fee; however, feel free to bring your own recording device. You may need to wait a short time before your hearing begins, so bring whatever items you may need for your own comfort, such as a sweater or jacket, water, or reading material. All cell phones are to be turned off during the hearing.
[return to questions]

11. Who will conduct the hearing?

A Special Magistrate appointed by the Value Adjustment Board will conduct the hearing pursuant to the rules and procedures promulgated by the Department of Revenue.
[return to questions]

12. What is a Special Magistrate?

Per Florida Statute 194.035 the VAB appoints Special Magistrates for the purpose of taking testimony and making recommendations to the VAB.The VAB may act upon these recommendations without further hearing. These Special Magistrates cannot be elected or appointed officials or employees of the county but shall be selected from a list of those qualified individuals who are willing to serve as Special Magistrates. Employees and elected or appointed officials of a taxing jurisdiction or of the state may not serve as Special Magistrates.

  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues of exemptions and classifications shall be a member of The Florida Bar with five (5) years’ experience in the area of ad valorem taxation or with less than five (5) years' experience in this area, but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.
  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of real estate shall be a state certified appraiser with five (5) years’ experience in real property valuation or has less than five years’ experience but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.
  • A Special Magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of tangible personal property shall be a designated member of a nationally recognized appraiser’s organization with five (5) years’ experience in tangible personal property valuations or has less than five years’ experience but has completed the training given by the Department of Revenue.
    [return to questions]

13. If I am unable to attend the hearing, how do I reschedule?

The petitioner shall have the right to reschedule the hearing a single time with good cause by submitting a written request to the Board Records Department of the Clerk of Court. Requests may be faxed to (727) 464-4716, emailed to Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org , or mailed to the Board Records Department at 315 Court Street, Fifth Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.
[return to questions]

14. What if I do not plan to attend my scheduled hearing?

If you do not plan to attend the scheduled hearing, the hearing will proceed and the Special Magistrate will consider any evidence presented with the petition. Florida law allows the Property Appraiser to cross examine or object to your evidence. The Special Magistrate will follow the same statutory guidelines as if you were present.
[return to questions]

15. Can someone represent me if I am unable to attend my hearing? If so, who can represent me?

You may indicate on the petition if you will not be attending the hearing and it will process as if you were present. You also have the right, at your own expense, to be represented by an attorney or an agent of your choice. However, if your agent is not a licensed attorney or agent, you must submit written authorization for that person to represent you.
[return to questions]

16. How do I withdraw a petition?

If you wish to withdraw your petition from consideration by the VAB, you must notify the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department in writing.  You may complete the Request for Withdrawal Form, and return it by mail to 315 Court St., 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756, by email to Clerk.VAB@mypinellasclerk.org , or you may fax your request to the department at (727) 464-4716.
[return to questions]

17. If my taxes are due before the decision on my VAB petition is final, should I pay them or wait?

The Tax Collector begins collecting taxes on November 1 of each year. If you want to take advantage of any discounts, you should pay your tax bill on or before the discount due date. Any refunds due as a result of a VAB petition will be distributed by the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office following the Final Meeting of the VAB.

Pursuant to HB 281 which was approved by the Legislature during the 2012 session, taxpayers appealing the value of their property must pay at least 75% of the ad valorem taxes owed, less the discount, before the taxes become delinquent on April 1st.  If the VAB determines that the amount of the tax paid is grossly disproportionate to the amount of tax found to be due, the Tax Collector must collect a penalty of 10% of the deficiency per year from the date the taxes become delinquent.

Petitioners challenging the denial of an exemption or classification must pay all of the non-ad valorem assessments and the amount of tax that the taxpayer admits in good faith to owe, less any applicable discounts, before the taxes become delinquent on April 1st.  If the VAB determines that the petitioner owes ad valorem taxes in excess of the amount paid, the unpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxes become delinquent until the unpaid amount is paid.  If the VAB determines that a refund is due, the overpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxed became delinquent until the refund is paid.  Interest does not accrue on amounts paid in excess of 100% of the current taxes due on the tax notice. 

If any petitioner fails to pay their taxes before they become delinquent on April 1st, the VAB must deny the petition by April 20th. 

[return to questions]

18. What can I do if I disagree with the decision of the Value Adjustment Board?

In the event that you disagree with the final decision of the Value Adjustment Board, you may file an action in Circuit Court within 60 days from the date on your final decision letter. Such actions are considered de novo, or original actions, rather than an appeal of the VAB decision. Petitioners should seek legal counsel for more information.
[return to questions]

 

Clerk's Commitment: Access to Public Records
CONTACT US
USING THIS WEBSITE
Phone:
Sitemap
(727) 464-7000
Public Records Liaison
 
Email Use Notice/ Liability Disclaimer
Hours of Operation:
ADA Requests
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
About the Clerk
Monday - Friday (excluding Holidays)
 
 
Comment Card (give us your feedback!)
Clerk Webmaster:
 
CONNECT WITH US
 
Like Us On Facebook!   Follow Us On Twitter!   Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!  Like our Flickr page 
General Inquiries: