June 18, 2012
Did you know that since 2009/2010, the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser's Office has increased their budget by 10.7%, while Property Appraisers throughout the rest of Florida have decreased their budgets by a combined -8.3%
Miami-Dade County is on the cusp of economic recovery. The decisions made by the Property Appraiser over the next several years will not only impact you, and every other resident of Miami-Dade County, but will contribute to the future economic prosperity of our community.
Since 2004, I have had the privilege to serve the citizens of District 113 as their voice and advocate in the Florida House of Representatives, where I have worked tirelessly to restore balance and fairness to Florida's property tax code, empower property owners and reduce property tax bills. I pledge that if elected Miami-Dade County's next Property Appraiser, I will continue to work on real solutions to the everyday challenges that families face as the housing market slowly begins to stabilize. Specifically, I seek to:
✓ Factor Foreclosed Home Sales When Determining the Taxable Value of Surrounding Properties: Miami-Dade County's current Property Appraiser presently disregards foreclosure sales when determining a neighborhood's taxable values, which as a result, artificially inflates property tax values for homes all across Miami-Dade County. This has led in part to a sharp increase in the number of property tax assessments being appealed to the Value Adjustment Board. For instance, over 140,000 appeals were filed in 2009 alone, nearly tripling the number of appeals filed in previous years.
✓ Crack Down on Fraudulent Property Tax Exemptions: Hundreds of millions of dollars in annual taxes, back taxes, penalties and interest are presently being lost as a result of the failure of Miami-Dade County's current Property Appraiser to accurately investigate property owners who intentionally apply for and receive fraudulent tax exemptions. Fraudulent exemptions steal from our law enforcement, schools, and libraries, and lower our quality of life in Miami-Dade County. Those tax dollars have to be made up elsewhere, and honest taxpayers like you get stuck making up the difference.
✓ Fairly and Accurately Determine the Taxable Value of a Property: Since 2008, over 475,000 appeals have been filed with the Value Adjustment Board by property owners who feel they have been assessed inaccurate and overinflated values to their property or improperly denied exemptions or classifications by Miami-Dade County's Property Appraiser. The high rate of appeals is a direct result of the current Property Appraiser's failure to accurately assess the true value of a property. This ineffectiveness has placed an undue burden on the Value Adjustment Board resulting in a backlog of unheard appeals and wastes limited judicial resources by clogging our court system.
The citizens of Miami-Dade County cannot afford to keep the same leadership, and expect different results. I am running on a record of property tax reform and fighting for fairness for all property owners in Miami-Dade County. I look forward to visiting every community in our County from North Miami and Miami Gardens to Homestead and Florida City to listen to your property tax concerns. Please take some time to go through my website to learn more about my priorities for our County. With your support on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, I hope to become Miami-Dade County's next Property Appraiser.