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Frequently Asked Questions For Value Adjustment Board

Welcome to the questions and answers area.
We have a large database of FAQs so we have organized them by topic. For frequently asked questions related to a specific topic, select it from the list below.

  

Where can I obtain a petition form?
 To request a petition or for inquiries regarding your property assessment, homestead exemption, or other determination made by the Property Appraiser, contact: The Property Appraiser's Office. A form can also be obtained from the Board Records Department, 941.741.4018 or from the Value Adjustment Board section on the Board Records Page.
The petition form 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.
Is there a fee for filing a petition?
Yes. Pursuant to Florida Statute 194.013, Petitions shall be filed with the appropriate filing fee, as follows:

Single petition - $15.00 per parcel

Single petition for: 1) condominium association, cooperative association, or homeowners' association; and 2) more than one contiguous, undeveloped parcel – if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are similar in nature (such determination must be in writing from the Property Appraiser) - $15.00, plus $5.00 per additional unit/parcel.
Where do I mail the petition?
Completed petitions MUST be mailed to: Value Adjustment Board Clerk, 1115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. 34205. Be sure to enclose your check made payable to: Clerk of the Circuit Court. Do not return your petition to the Property Appraiser's Office.
May I submit my petition by fax or e-mail?
YES.  Petitions can be filed by fax or email; however, these petitions will not be considered complete and timely filed until the appropriate filing fee has been received by the Value Adjustment Board Clerk.  If you are concerned about meeting the filing deadline, send your petition to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk, 1115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. 34205, via overnight, express mail.
What if I file my petition late?
Petitions filed after the deadline are considered “Late Files” and are forwarded to the Special Magistrate or VAB Attorney for review. A late filed petition must be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the late filing and any documents that support that statement. A hearing is not scheduled unless the Special Magistrate or VAB Attorney finds there is “good cause” for the late filing. The deadline date for filing is Monday, September 10, 2012, at 4:00 p.m.
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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 of the date, time, and location for the hearing. Hearings will be scheduled beginning in October, and will continue until all petitions have been considered. The sessions are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
What supporting documentation do I need and when should I submit it?

Each petition may vary in required evidence criteria. The Clerk cannot provide information of this type as these are legal matters.
All supporting documentation and/or evidence must be submitted 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 Florida Statutes, Section 194.011 and Department of Revenue Rule 12D-9.020.

No petitioner may present for consideration, nor may a Board or Special Magistrate accept for consideration, testimony or other evidentiary materials that were specifically requested of the petitioner in writing by the Property Appraiser in connection with a filed petition, 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:

Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office
915 4th Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205

What do I need to bring to the hearing?
You should bring three copies of any documentation previously exchanged with the Property Appraiser’s Office. You may also want to bring something on which to take notes. All hearings are recorded and can be made available to you; 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 or pagers are to be turned off.
Who hears the petition?
A Special Magistrate will hear the petition. Special Magistrates include attorneys who hear exemption petitions and appraisers who hear commercial, residential, and tangible property petitions.
What is a Special Magistrate?
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 may not 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.
If I am unable to attend the hearing, how do I reschedule?

The petitioner will be notified of the scheduled time of appearance no less than twenty-five (25) calendar days prior to the day of such scheduled appearance. Upon receipt of this notification, the petitioner may reschedule the hearing “without good cause” one time by submitting a written request to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk no fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled appearance.

The petitioner may request a rescheduling of a hearing “for good cause” by submitting a written request to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk before the scheduled appearance, or as soon as practicable. A request to reschedule the hearing made by the Petitioner fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled hearing may be made only for an emergency when “good cause” is shown. These requests will be forwarded to the Value Adjustment Board designee to determine if good cause has been demonstrated.

What if I cannot attend my scheduled hearing?
If you are unable to attend the scheduled hearing, but would like your evidence considered, you must submit your evidence to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk and to the Property Appraiser before the hearing (within the deadlines listed above). Florida law allows the Property Appraiser to cross examine or object to your evidence. The VAB Special Magistrate ruling will occur under the same statutory guidelines as if you were present.
Can someone represent me if I am unable to make my hearing? If so, who can represent me?
A taxpayer has the right, at the taxpayer’s own expense, to be represented by an attorney or by an agent. The agent need not be a licensed individual or person with specific qualifications and may be any person, including a family member, authorized by the taxpayer to represent them before the VAB. A petition filed by an unlicensed agent must also be signed by the taxpayer or accompanied by a written authorization from the taxpayer.
How do I withdraw a petition?
If you wish to withdraw your petition from consideration by the VAB, you must do so in writing.  A Petition Withdrawal Form is available from the Value Adjustment Board section on the Board Records Page.   The Withdrawal Form can be delivered to the Value Adjustment Board Clerk, 1115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205; emailed to vab@manateeclerk.com; or faxed to 941-741-4089.