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FAQ: Other Services

Value Adjustment Board (VAB)

Value Adjustment Board - (561) 355-6289

Please note that it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to be fully informed of all Florida laws and regulations governing the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) process.  As laws, rules and procedures may change from time to time, it is recommended that you thoroughly review all applicable Web sites, statutes and rules to verify their current status and for more complete information about the VAB process. 

For an overview of the VAB petition process, please see this brochure from the Department of Revenue.

Checks and money orders must be made payable to the Board of County Commissioners.

Users of Internet Explorer 10: To ensure myVAB works properly, users of Internet Explorer 10 should turn on Compatibility View by clicking on the Compatibility View icon Compatibility View Icon in the browser’s address bar. Please visit Microsoft’s website for more information about Compatibility View.

General Information

How to Submit Petition to Appeal Property Assessments

Petition Service Charges & Fees

Petition Withdrawal

Evidence

Hearings

Rescheduling a Hearing

Hearing Results/Adjusted Tax Rolls

Property Tax Refunds

VAB Appeals

 

General Information
What is myVAB?

MyVAB is a program available on www.mypalmbeachclerk.com that allows taxpayers to file petitions to the Value Adjustment Board online. All VAB petitioners receive access to myVAB, which gives them real-time access to their petition and allows them to view hearing schedules.

Who sits on the Value Adjustment Board?

The Board is comprised of two County commissioners, one School Board member, and two citizen members. The members for the current tax season are: Commissioner Steven Abrams, Commissioner Paulette Burdick, School Board Member Frank Barbieri, Scott Johnston, and Stormet Norem. The Board appoints the special magistrates to conduct the hearings and issue recommended decisions. Recommended decisions are not final until approved by the Board at one of their meetings. All Board meetings are open to the public.

How is my property assessed?

Property is assessed by the Property Appraiser. The Property Appraiser is a separate agency and is not affiliated with the VAB. The VAB is not involved with producing your assessment or your TRIM notice. For questions about your assessment, contact the Property Appraiser by visiting www.pbcgov.com/papa or calling (561) 355-3230.

Where can I find the VAB Rules for Palm Beach County?

You may view these online at the Florida Department of Revenue's Web site. Florida law requires all county Value Adjustment Boards to use a ‘Uniform Policies and Procedures Manual’ from the Department of Revenue.

Who do I call for information?

For questions about:

  • Property Taxes  
  • Property assessments and values, homestead exemptions, property classifications  
  • Filed petition, hearing date, reschedule or appeal process and/or final decision information
    • Call the VAB at (561) 355-6289.
Can I resolve my property assessment issues without having to file an appeal with the VAB?

You have a right to an informal conference with a Property Appraiser representative and may request the conference by calling (561) 355-3230. If the conference does not resolve your concerns, you may file a petition with the VAB. CAUTION: The conference and discussions with the Property Appraiser do not toll the deadline for filing a petition. For that reason, you may wish to file a petition before learning the outcome of your discussions with the Property Appraiser to avoid missing the filing deadline. You can always withdraw your petition later if you reach agreement with the Property Appraiser.

How to Submit Petition to Appeal Property Assessments
Where can I obtain a petition form to file my appeal?

A petition may be obtained by doing one of the following:

Where do I file my petition form once completed?

If you choose not to file online, you may file your petition in person at the Clerk & Comptroller’s Governmental Center 1st floor office or at any branch location. VAB petitions are not accepted at the Main Courthouse.  You may also mail your petition, along with a check or money order payable to the Board of County Commissioners, to the following address:

Value Adjustment Board
301 North Olive Avenue
Room 203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Before mailing, verify that all applicable information, signatures and payment have been provided. There is a non-refundable filing fee per parcel. See Fees & Costs for the current amount. Insufficient information and/or payment will result in the petition being rejected and returned to the sender. VAB petitions cannot be filed by fax or e-mail.

Can I petition multiple properties on one petition?

One petition must be filed for each parcel control number unless the properties meet the criteria for multiple parcels on a single petition. The taxpayer must obtain prior approval from the Property Appraiser to file a single petition for multiple parcels. Special forms are provided and completed by the Property Appraiser for these cases. These forms must be presented to the VAB clerk upon filing.

What information is needed to complete the petition form?

All information requested on the petition form and listed below must be submitted along with the appropriate fee(s).

  • Petitioner name and mailing address for receipt of VAB notices. If your mailing address changes, you must immediately notify the VAB Clerk in writing and provide the correct address. Current and accurate petitioner information is critical to ensure timely receipt of notices. Timeframes for deadlines can be tight! The VAB is not responsible for routine forwarding delays to out-of-state addresses. Consider providing a local (Florida) contact and address to avoid forwarding delays.
  • Daytime telephone number. If available, also provide an email address to make it easier for the VAB Clerk to contact you.
  • Parcel control number (PCN)  
  • Time limit estimate for hearing presentation. Most presentations should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • List of dates you are not available to attend hearing. The VAB will consider a reasonable list of unavailable dates when scheduling your hearing but cannot guarantee accommodation of personal schedules.
  • Signature. If you own the property and will represent yourself, you must sign the petition. If you own the property but will be represented by a licensed attorney, cpa, appraiser, or real estate broker, your representative may sign the petition on your behalf. If you own the property but will PAY someone to represent you who is NOT a licensed attorney, cpa, appraiser, or real estate broker, your representative may sign the petition on your behalf IF a Power of Attorney executed by you accompanies the petition. If there is no Power of Attorney, both you and your paid representative must sign the petition. If you own the property but will be represented by someone other than a licensed attorney, cpa, appraiser, or real estate broker who will NOT BE PAID, your representative may sign the petition on your behalf IF a Letter of Authorization signed by you accompanies the petition. If there is no Letter of Authorization, both you and your unpaid representative must sign the petition.
What is the deadline for filing a petition?

Petitions appealing real property or tangible personal property values must be filed no later than 25 days after the mailing of the “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes” (also known as the “Truth in Millage” or “TRIM” notice). TRIM notices are typically mailed in August. Petitions related to LATE applications for homestead or other exemptions, or for agricultural or other classifications, must also be filed by the aforementioned “TRIM” filing deadline. The TRIM filing deadline and other important information is posted on your TRIM notice and the VAB’s website.

Petitions appealing the DENIAL of a homestead or other exemption, or an agricultural or other classification, must be filed no later than 30 days after the date of the denial notice. The filing deadline for these petitions is stated in the denial notice.

Late petitions may be accepted ONLY if they include a written explanation and supporting documents showing extraordinary circumstances. An example of an extraordinary circumstance is a personal, family, or business crisis that occurred during or near the petition filing period, that reasonably diverted petitioner’s attention from filing. Vacation or non-emergency absence from the State is not an extraordinary circumstance.

Petition Service Charges & Fees
Is there a filing fee?

Yes. Refer to Fees & Costs for current fee information. Checks and money orders must be made payable to the Board of County Commissioners.

What payment methods are accepted by the VAB?
  • When filing a petition online, you must pay by MasterCard or Visa. A 3.5% service charge applies for credit card payments. For example, a $15 VAB filing fee will incur a service charge of 53 cents.
  • Payments made in person must be check, cash or money order.
  • By mail, you must submit a check or money order, made payable to the Board of County Commissioners, along with the petition.

Payment must be submitted at the time of filing your petition. No petition will be accepted without payment and no payment will be accepted after the filing deadline. Checks and money orders must be made payable to the Board of County Commissioners.

Is my online payment secure?

We use industry standard SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption when transmitting and receiving sensitive information. We do not store your sensitive data, such as full credit card numbers. All credit card transactions are conducted by MyFloridaCounty.com.

Petition Withdrawal
How do I withdraw a petition?

You must submit a completed form DR-485WI or a letter to the following address:

Value Adjustment Board Clerk
301 North Olive Avenue
Room 203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Evidence
What type of evidence must I present at the hearing to support my petition?

Please review the Florida Department of Revenue Web site for examples of evidence listed in Florida Statute 193.

Note: The Clerk is not responsible for providing information of this type as these are legal matters and each petition may vary in required evidence criteria.

When and how do I present my evidence?

Each party (you and the Property Appraiser) must present evidence directly to the special magistrate at the hearing. Do not send evidence to the VAB before the hearing. ALSO, in order to present evidence at the hearing without objection by the Property Appraiser, and to see the Property Appraiser’s evidence before the hearing, YOU MUST GIVE A COPY OF YOUR EVIDENCE TO THE PROPERTY APPRAISER AND REQUEST IN WRITING THE PROPERTY APPRAISER’S EVIDENCE AT LEAST 15 DAYS BEFORE THE HEARING. If you do that, the Property Appraiser must give you their evidence at least 7 days before the hearing. The Property Appraiser will accept delivery of your evidence in person or by U.S. mail only. 

More information about the pre-hearing exchange of evidence requirements between you and the Property Appraiser is available online at the Florida Department of Revenue Website. You must present your evidence at the hearing regardless of whether or not you gave it to the Property Appraiser before the hearing.

Where do I submit my evidence?

You must bring all of your evidence to the hearing and be prepared to present it. ALSO, at least 15 days before the hearing a copy of your evidence should be delivered to:

Property Appraiser
Governmental Center
301 North Olive Avenue
5th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Do not send evidence to the VAB! 

Hearings
Do I need to bring an attorney to my hearing?

You are not required to bring an attorney to your hearing, but you have the right to do so. In most cases, petitioners represent themselves or have a non-lawyer represent them, and the Property Appraiser is represented by non-lawyer staff. However, the Property Appraiser’s attorney and/or the VAB attorney may appear at your hearing. It is up to you to decide whether or not to bring your attorney to the hearing.

Where will my VAB hearing be held?

VAB hearings are held at the following address:

Governmental Center
301 North Olive Avenue
1st Floor, Room 104
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

When do I get notice of the VAB hearing?

After the filing deadline, the VAB Clerk schedules hearings for all petitions. You will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of your hearing at least 25 days before your hearing date. The hearing will be posted on the myVAB system on the Clerk’s website, which you will have access to after filing a petition. VAB hearings usually begin in October and continue until all petitions are heard.

What can I expect at the hearing?

Your hearing will be conducted by a special magistrate whose role is to render an impartial recommendation to grant or deny your petition. The special magistrate will allow each side, you and the Property Appraiser, to present their case, including testimony, documents, and argument. You will be expected to present evidence showing why your petition should be granted. The Property Appraiser will be expected to present evidence showing why their assessment should be upheld. The hearing is an administrative proceeding that is less formal than a court proceeding and the judicial rules of procedure do not apply. However, there are separate rules of procedure for VAB hearings and you are encouraged to review them at
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/vab/pdf/vabuppmanual.pdf

Your special magistrate will be a certified appraiser or an attorney, depending on the type of petition you filed. Special magistrates are appointed by, and report directly to, the VAB.

Who will be in attendance at my hearing?

The hearing will be attended by the VAB special magistrate, you and/or your representative, the Property Appraiser representative(s), and a member of the VAB clerk’s staff (to record the hearing). While not typical, it is possible that the Property Appraiser’s attorney or the VAB attorney may attend. Hearings are open to the public and while interested observers are welcome, they are rare.

How can I obtain a copy of the transcript of my hearing?

Hearings are recorded by the VAB Clerk.  A CD copy of a recording (see Fees & Costs for current cost) may be obtained by calling the VAB at (561) 355-6289. Make checks payable to the Clerk & Comptroller.

Rescheduling a Hearing
Can I reschedule my hearing?

You may reschedule your hearing one time for good cause. Good cause means circumstances beyond your control that reasonably prevent you from having adequate representation at the hearing. Documentary evidence of these circumstances is required.

Hearing Results/Adjusted Tax Rolls
How will I be notified of the outcome of the hearing?

The VAB clerk will mail each petitioner a copy of the special magistrate’s recommended decision. The final decision will be mailed to each petitioner within 20 days after the final certification of the tax roll.

When does the VAB certify the tax roll?

The VAB certifies the tax roll after all petitions are heard and all recommended decisions are approved. This usually happens in May or June. Beginning with the 2018 tax season the tax roll must be certified by June 1 unless the number of petitions increased 10% or more from the prior year.

If I've filed a VAB petition, should I pay my taxes or wait?

Regardless of the outcome of your hearing, you must pay all or the required portion of your taxes by April 1 to avoid penalties (per Florida Statute 194.014). Find out more.

For more information about tax payment options, please see the Tax Collector's website or call (561) 355-2264.

Property Tax Refunds
How long do I have to wait for a refund on my property taxes?

Tax refunds are normally issued after the final certification of the adjusted tax roll. For additional information, please contact the Tax Collector's Office at (561) 355-2264.

VAB Appeals
Can I appeal a final VAB decision?

You may file an action in circuit court by the applicable deadline set forth in Florida Statute 194.171.

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