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Real estate appeals may rise after new tax bills arrive

A property tax firm in north central Florida says that a surprise on upcoming tax bills may be of serious concern to many Florida residents. The firm indicates that an "unintended consequence" of the Save Our Homes Amendment (passed in 1992) is to blame. People are seeing their homes' market values decrease while their assessed values continue to increase. This frustrating situation could give rise to a larger number of real estate disputes filed.

In 1992, the Florida Constitution was amended with the Save Our Homes Amendment (SOH). The SOH limits annual increases in the assessed value of properties to 3 percent or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever amount is the lesser. This limit is referred to as the SOH cap. Anyone who owns and occupies a home as a permanent resident and receives the $25,000 homestead exemption is automatically qualified to receive the SOH cap.

The SOH Amendment creates a tax shift, moving the tax burden to businesses, renters, and second homeowners. Real estate owners and investors are being advised to closely examine the assessed value of their properties. If they suspect that these values are inaccurate, a real estate dispute can be filed.

Taking such an action before the proposed values are mailed out may help protect individuals' real estate interests. Given the potential complexity of real estate law, it may be a good idea for those concerned about their interests to seek experienced consultation to smooth out the process and unveil every option. Being proactive in situations like this one, rather than allowing outside forces to take the reins, may well prove to be a wise decision.

Source: prweb.com, "Property tax firm forecasts record increase in appeals as tax bills arrive this week," Oct. 31, 2011

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