Appeals for Property Tax Filing Hits an All-Time Low in SWFL

The Lee County Clerk of Courts office reports a sudden drop in the number of petitions filed for property tax assessment.  This has been the lowest drop within the last 6 years as announced by the clerk of courts.

For the current year, only a total of 1,422 petitions were filed as the county has a recorded 600,000 properties listed.  The highest number of petitions recorded for property tax assessment was back in 2008. There was as many as 3 times the number of homeowners requesting that the taxes be reassessed for their properties.  The highest number of petitions totaled to 4,264 cases.  In 2011, the county had a record of 2120 cases filed.
The Value Adjustment Board reviews appeals, especially those concerning denied exemption petitions and additional tax deferrals.  The board consists of five members representing the county and the school board who would hearing the petitions that were filed by the homeowner.

When petitions are filed to assess property tax, there are lawyers and specially appointed justices who review the homeowner’s dispute and provide a decision for these cases.

Yet some petitions have remained unresolved.  This was the case of Richard Kistner, a local resident of Cape Coral.  For this year, his property was appraised at $125,000 after paying $65,000 in 2010.  After the homeowner had inquired why there is a big different between the market value and appraised value, Mr. Kistner was advised that there was no cap for first time sales.

Cases like Mr. Kistner would have to be reviewed by the property appraiser before it gets passed to the VAB for a formal review.

Cape Coral is one of the areas in SWFL that reported big increases in the taxable value of properties.  The city posted a 3.82% increase while nationally taxable values have gone down by 0.2%.

The last day of petitions was set on September 14th and actual review and hearing of cases would start in October 15th.

The chief operating officer for the Clerk of Court in Lee County, Ms. Linda Doggett, expects that all inquiries will be finished by the early part of next year. In past years, some of the petitions that were being reviewed extended into spring.  But Doggett thinks that the review for this year will not take long due to the decline in complaints with their property taxes.
Learn more about Cape Coral properties here.
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