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Legislature Passes AIF Supported  Property Tax Reform Legislation

May 1, 2009

On the last day of the 2009 Session, members of the Florida Senate & House approved passage of HB 521 Relating to Ad Valorem Tax Assessment Challenges, by Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-Miami).  This bill levels the playing field between property appraisers and property owners.  The current property appraisal system is weighed heavily on the side of property appraisers.  This legislation would require property appraisers to prove that their assessment of a property’s value was arrived at by complying with all Florida laws.

AIF, with the outstanding support of Sen. Mike Fasano, worked to defeat bad amendments by Sen. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee) that would have gutted the bill and allowed property appraisers the unfettered discretion to declare that a taxpayer’s tangible personal property tax return is deficient.  Additionally, the Lawson amendments would have taken away the rights of taxpayers to seek redress in the courts, if a property appraiser deemed that a tax return was inadequate, thereby, stripping away any ability to challenge any over-assessment of property taxes.

HB 521, which was one of AIF’s 2009 Session Priorities, is strongly supported by Florida’s employers, who for many decades have suffered at the hands of a process that makes it nearly impossible to challenge any assessments on property owned by a business or citizen.  AIF would like to thank the members of the Florida Legislature and Governor Charlie Crist for their support of this pro-business, pro-homeowner legislation.