Friday, August 31, 2012

Make sure you know the current law regarding Property Taxes

As of the 2011 Property taxes (and still in 2012), if your Property Taxes are delinquent, you forfeit your right to appeal. 


State law Section 194.014, F.S. states that you must make a partial payment of taxes to avoid denial of your petition.  


 This is somewhat misleading.  It does not mean that if you pay 10%, 25%, or even 50% you are fine to appeal your taxes.  You must make a partial payment of at least 75% of the ad valorem taxes that you owe.

Ok, so it you owe $10,000 then you pay $7,500, right?  WRONG, you would be a little short.  Property Taxes are broken down into two divisions.  Ad valorem (Latin for "according to value") and non-ad valorem.  Here is the tricky part, you must pay 100% of your non-advalorem tax.  The reason for the difference is, we can appeal the ad valorem, however the non-advalorem is locked in. 

What can you do and what should you do.  


What can you do: 

You can have us file your appeal before September 18th, 2012 and you pay 75% of your ad-valorem and 100% of your non-ad valorem by November.  Then you can wait for the results of the appeal and find out the reduction you could receive and pay the difference or get credited for the difference in excess of the 25% not paid.


What you should do (if able):

You can have us file your appeal before September 18th, 2012 and you pay 100% of what the county believes you owe by November.  Why should you give them all the money you ask.  Well, when we are hopefully able to get you a reduction, the county pays 12% interest on the refund.  You can not get that interest rate from a bank, it just makes sense to make a full payment.

If you would like more information on this topic, you can contact us at or call (305) 693-3500


Please remember, while your TRIM notice is not the final bil, if you wait for your final bill to appeal, it will be to late.  You must appeal now before September 18th, 2012.  Do not delay, contact us today.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Foreclosure impacts one in four home sales

WASHINGTON – Aug. 30, 2012 – Nearly a quarter of all U.S. home sales involved a property in some stage of foreclosure in the second quarter, real estate firm RealtyTrac said Thursday.

RealtyTrac, which monitors properties in foreclosure, said 23 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were either bank-owned or involved in the foreclosure process.

While the housing market shows some signs of strength with prices rising, the percentage of home sales that include properties involved in foreclosure has risen from 22 percent in the first quarter and from 19 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

However, the number of sales involving foreclosures dropped to 224,429 April through June, down 12 percent from the January through May period and down 22 percent from the second quarter of 2011.

With the tighter supply, prices are rising. The average sales price in the second quarter for a foreclosure-related property was $170,040, a 6 percent increase from the first quarter and a 7 percent climb from the same period a year earlier.

The decline in the total number of foreclosure-related sales paved the way for the first annual decrease after five consecutive quarters with year-to-year increases. The average price increase, meanwhile, was the first such gain since the second quarter of 2010 and the largest average price gain since October through December of 2006, RealtyTrac said.

“The second quarter sales numbers provide solid statistical evidence of what we’ve been hearing … from real estate agents, buyers and investors over the past few months: There is a limited supply of available foreclosure inventory to choose from in many markets,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president.

Reviewing the data state by state showed 43 percent of all residential property sales in Georgia and Nevada in the second quarter involved property in some stage of foreclosure.

California had the third largest percentage at 40 percent of all residential sales.

Nine other states saw foreclosure-related sales that were at least at 20 percent of all residential sales.

Data showed at least one in five sales in Florida and Oregon (21 percent of all sales), Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado (22 percent), New Hampshire (24 percent), Illinois (27 percent), Arizona (33 percent) and Michigan (35 percent) included properties in some stage of foreclosure, RealtyTrac said.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flag on the field, property appraiser Garcia is contesting the election

Pedro J. Garcia (Property Appraiser running for re-election) and Joe Martinez (Miami-Dade Commission Chairman running for Mayor) want the absentee ballots in the August 14th election thrown out due to the Hialeah voter-fraud probe.

The election was two weeks ago, but in that time both candidates hired the same lawyer who file parallel lawsuits last Friday requesting the courts throw out the absentee votes.

What would this mean?  If there request is granted, Martinez would trigger a runoff against Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Garcia would have defeated State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. 

In the property appraiser election, there were about 80,000 absentee votes out of the 207,000 total votes.  39% of the votes cast were absentee.

As it stands, Lopez-Cantera won by 51% to 49% of the vote.  If the absentee votes are thrown out, Garcia would have won, 51% to 49%. 

These are not the first elections to be contested in South Florida.  The 1997 Mayoral election which involved illegal votes resulted in a trial court ordering a new election and then the appeals court then ruled that absentee voting is a privilege and does not have the same legal protection as voting at the polls, which is a constitutional right. 

Due to this conflict, the laws have been changes but have yet to be challenged (until now).  Now absentee ballots are to enjoy the same rights as voting in polling places.

We at Property Tax Appeal Group hope this gets resolved quickly.

For more information, please read the Miami Herald article. 

For Property Tax Appeal help, please contact us at

Did you receive this?

We at Property Tax Appeal Group very rarely send mass e-mails.  Less than 10 a year.  This e-mail went out today to those that have asked to be kept in the loop regarding Tax Appeals.

If you do not file by September 18, 2012, you will have missed your opportunity to have your property properly assessed by the County.

Please contact us for more information.

Monday, August 27, 2012

City of Miami: High ranking employees are jumping ship!

They Mayor says it is nothing to worry about but the Treasury Manager Mirtha Dziedzic, chief accountant Barbara Gray, and capital improvements director Albert Sosa all resigned as of Sunday August, 26, 2012.

The Chief financial officer Janice Larned was pulled back on board as she threatened to quit Thursday. 

As the City Commissioners must approve a budget by the end of September this is not a good sign. 

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says he is not concerned and claims it is a coincidence.

The City has a $485 million dollar budget and currently has a $40 million dollar hole in the budget largely due to ballooning pension contributions. 

 They City will have to negotiate concessions from its four labor unions and most likely will be forced to impose furlough days to make up the shortfall. 

No matter why people are leaving the City of Miami, it does not appear the problems will be fixed right away. 

For more information:

For Property Tax Appeal assistant:

A Hidden Window of Opportunity Has Opened to Appeal Your Property Taxes

A Hidden Window of Opportunity Has Opened to Appeal Your Property Taxes

 Each year, Florida requires the Property Appraiser in each County to come up with property values for all real estate owned in their County…and is required to provide the property owner time to file a petition to appeal these values (the deadline this year is September 18, 2012).

Faced with these statutory requirements, Miami-Dade and Broward County take various steps to hide from property owners the opportunity they have to appeal their taxes. 

Can You Appeal Something Before It’s Final?
In most circumstances, you need to wait until a final decision is reached before one can appeal the results.  As such, Miami-Dade County puts the following verbiage within its Header, to point out that the final decision has not been reached…



However, if you wait to appeal your property taxes until the Final Tax Bill is mailed out on November 1st, it will be too late to file an appeal.

Make Sure To Read the Small Print
The County is required to provide property owners until September 18, 2012 to file their appeals, and does its best conceal this by using very small font within its footer stating…

If the Property Appraiser is unable to resolve the matter as to the market value,
classification, or an exemption, you may file a petition for adjustment with the
Value Adjustment Board… Petitions must be filed on or before SEPT. 18, 2012

Within the footer, the County also tries to discourage property owners from immediately filing appeal petitions by first requesting…

If you feel the market value of the property is inaccurate or does not reflect fair market value…please contact the Miami-Dade County Office of the Property Appraiser.  The more time it takes the property owner to schedule and meet with the Property Appraiser’s office, is less time they have until the September 18, 2012 deadline to appeal their property taxes.

Property owners need to know they only have until September 18, 2012 appeal their property taxes.