Looking at house with magnifying glass

Demystifying Your South Florida Property Appraisal

If you are a resident of Palm Beach, Broward, or Miami-Dade County, you may be familiar with a document entitled “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes” or [TRIM Notice].  If you have just moved into the area, this may be your first time receiving a TRIM Notice and seeing columns with numbers next to the terms, “Taxable Value,” “Millage Rate” and “Taxable Amount.” You may review the notice and immediately have reason to believe it’s inaccurate, or you may just have questions about the different terms and numbers. By understanding your Palm Beach County appraisal, you can work towards finding ways to address your concerns.

Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM) Notice (page 1)

  • Your notice will include a legal description of your property and a list of the entities that are your taxing authorities.
  • The first column on page one of your TRIM notice “Your Property Taxes Last Year” should state the taxes you or the last owner paid during the prior year. You should review this information for accuracy.
  • Columns two and three represent your proposed taxes for the year, with and without proposed changes to the budget. Your taxing authorities would make the proposed changes to the budget.
  • There will also be a box with information on public hearing dates and locations for meetings to discuss potential changes. These meetings provide a forum for taxpayers to raise their concerns. The final tax rate will be based on budgets approved by the taxing authorities after the public hearing process is completed.
  • The “Non-Ad Valorem Assessment” box at the bottom of the page represents the taxes that the Palm Beach County Appraiser’s Office is not responsible for assessing. These typically includes charges for services such as solid waste and drainage and are not connected to your property value.

TRIM Notice Value Information (page 2)

The second page of your TRIM Notice is where you will find information concerning the value of your property.

  • The “Market Value” box will state last year’s assessed value and the one proposed for this tax year.
  • The proposed value is based on what an appraiser believes your home could have sold for on January 1 of that year.
  • The remainder of the page will include possible “Assessment Reductions” and “Exemptions” that could reduce your tax burden.
  • Your “Assessed Value,” or market value less any benefit such as a cap, and “Taxable Value,” or amount upon which your taxes are actually based after exemptions, will also be recorded in separate columns.

If you disagree with the proposed market value, an exemption, or classification, your TRIM Notice directs you to contact your County Appraiser’s Office. The notice also advises that if you are unable to resolve your issue with the office, you can file a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB).

Contact a Board-Certified Real Estate Attorney

If you believe there are errors in your appraisal, you should contact a  Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorney to discuss your concerns as soon as possible. Your counsel will have the knowledge and experience you need to determine if your property is being fairly assessed. He or she can review your options with you and help you determine what your next steps should be. You should also have experienced local counsel to assist you during all stages of review.

Contact Our Palm Beach County Real Estate Attorneys Today

At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with extensive experience in South Florida. We have the expertise and local knowledge you need to assist you with all aspects of your property appraisal.  Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.


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