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News Release

PROPERTY TAX APPEALS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 21 PERCENT

Taxpayers Can Petition the Value Adjustment Board Online Using
Clerk & Comptroller’s Convenient myVAB

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (August 25, 2009) – The Clerk & Comptroller’s office is expecting as many as 16,000 petitions from taxpayers disputing their proposed property tax notice, which just arrived in the mail. That’s a 21 percent increase over the 13,200 appeals filed last year with the Clerk’s office, which receives and processes petitions for the Value Adjustment Board, or VAB. Property owners have until September 14 to file a petition challenging the market value and classification of their property.  That’s also the last day to file a late request for a homestead exemption or portability. 

There are many factors that may contribute to the projected rise in petitions including the sluggish economy, proposed increases in property taxes, and a change in legislation that puts the burden of proving the accuracy of the assessment on the Property Appraiser. In previous years, the Property Appraiser was presumed correct and the taxpayer had to prove the information was wrong. 

How to File a Petition
Taxpayers may file a VAB petition online using myVAB, a convenient service provided by the Clerk’s office on its Web site, www.mypalmbeachclerk.comMyVAB gives petitioners real-time access to their petition, allows them to view scheduled hearings and submit supporting materials electronically.

MyVAB allows customers to save time by filing from their home or office,” said Clerk Sharon Bock. “The online petitions also make the filing process more cost and time efficient for our office by helping to reduce customer wait times, overtime, and clerical costs.”

Taxpayers, not wishing to file online, may do so in person or by mail. To better serve customers, the Clerk’s office recently relocated its main VAB office to a larger, more convenient location on the first floor of the Governmental Center in West Palm Beach. Petition forms are available at Clerk’s office locations, the Property Appraiser’s office, or on the Florida Department of Revenue's Web site.  Completed forms must be returned to the Clerk’s office along with a $15 filing fee. It’s the same fee to file in person, by mail or online using myVAB.

Background
The Property Appraiser notified property owners of their property’s assessed and market values in a Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice mailed on August 21. VAB, which consists of two county commissioners, one school board member and two citizen members, approves and hires special
magistrates to settle any disputes between the property owner and Property Appraiser. It is an independent entity that is not affiliated with the Property Appraiser or Tax Collector. As Clerk to the VAB, the Clerk’s office receives and processes petitions, schedules and coordinates hearings, clerks and records the hearings and more. For more information on myVAB, the Value Adjustment Board or the Clerk & Comptroller’s office, visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-6289.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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