VAB FAQ

What is the Value Adjustment Board?

What is the Value Adjustment Board?

The Value Adjustment Board (VAB) is an independent board created by Chapter 194, Florida Statutes, to hear Property Owner’s appeals regarding property tax issues. The Board consists of:

• Two (2) members of the Sumter County Board of County Commissioners

• One (1) member of the Sumter County School Board

• One (1) citizen member appointed by the County Commission

• One (1) citizen member appointed by the School Board.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Court and Board of County Commissioners is the Clerk of the VAB. The VAB, as a panel, considers and renders a decision on all appeals of property assessed values, classifications and exemptions. The VAB has no jurisdiction or control over taxes or tax rates established by the Taxing Authorities. The VAB’s primary function is to hear evidence as to whether or not properties, petitioned for their consideration, are assessed at their proper value and/or whether tax exemptions or agricultural classifications should be approved. The VAB cannot change your assessed value or grant an exemption or classification based on personal hardship.

The VAB appoints Special Magistrates who are qualified real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers, or attorneys to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the VAB on all petitions. The primary issue for an Appraiser Special Magistrate to decide is whether or not the assessed value of the petitioned property exceeds its actual market value as of January 1st of the relevant tax year. The primary issues to be determined by Attorney Special Magistrates are whether exemptions or agricultural classifications should be granted based on the evidence presented.

The VAB and the Special Magistrates are independent of the Property Appraiser’s Office.

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How do I appeal my property taxes?

To contest the Property Appraiser’s denial of your application for tax exemption or agricultural classification, a petition must be filed with the VAB no later than 30 days following the mailing of the Property Appraiser’s denial notice.

To contest the “Market and/or Assessed” value of your property, a petition must be filed with the VAB no later than 25 days following the mailing of the Property Appraiser’s Truth-in-Millage-Act (TRIM) Notice.  The TRIM Notice is usually mailed in August.

Petition forms are available on the Clerk’s website (www.sumterclerk.com) and the Florida Department of Revenue’s website (http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/vab).  A filing fee of $15.00 per parcel of property (identified by a “Parcel ID” number) is required when the petition is filed with the VAB.  A fee of $5.00 is required for each contiguous parcel of the same value on the same petition.  FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. return to top
How do I file my petition?

Petitions can be filed by mail:
Value Adjustment Board, c/o Sumter County Clerk of Court
P.O. Box 247
Bushnell, FL 33513
Overnight delivery
Value Adjustment Board, c/o Sumter County Clerk of Court
215 East McCollum Avenue // Room 245
Bushnell, FL 33513
In person at
Sumter County Clerk of Court
215 East McCollum Avenue // Room 245
Bushnell, FL 33513 or
Sumter County Clerk of Court Village Annex
8033 E C-466
The Villages, FL 32162

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Where will my VAB hearing be held at?

VAB hearings are normally held in the Historic Courtroom, Sumter County Courthouse, 215 East McCollum Avenue, Bushnell, FL 33513

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What if I want to withdraw my petition?
You may withdraw your petition by completing Form DR-485WI and submitting it to the Clerk by mail, fax (352) 569-6618, or email (cwebb@sumterclerk.com).  The form can be accessed on the Florida Department of Revenue website, http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/forms or the Clerk’s website, www.sumterclerk.com return to top
How will I be notified of my hearing date?
The Clerk will send the petitioner a written notice of hearing 25 days prior to the hearing date which will include the date, time and location of the hearing return to top
What happens at the hearing?

The Clerk will schedule each petitioned property for a hearing at a certain date and time, during which hearing the petitioner may present evidence in support of his or her case.  An appearance by the petitioner at the hearing is generally required; however, a petitioner who has indicated that they do not wish to appear at the hearing, but would like for the Special Magistrate to consider their evidence, shall submit their evidence to the Clerk and the Property Appraiser before the hearing.  The appeal will be determined by the Special Magistrate based on the merits of the evidence presented.  Hearings before the Special Magistrate are informal.  An authorized attorney or professional agent may represent a petitioner at this hearing, but such representation is not required.

At the hearing, the Special Magistrate will ask the petitioner to present evidence and testimony to support the appeal.  After input from all parties, the Special Magistrate will make a written recommendation to the VAB; and the VAB will mail the petitioner a written copy of this recommendation.  The VAB will also mail to the petitioner a final “Record of Decision Notice” after it officially adopts or overturns the Special Magistrate’s recommendation and certifies the assessment return to top
Am I required to submit any supporting documentary evidence to the VAB and/or Property Appraiser prior to the day of my hearing?
When a petitioner files a document with the Clerk, other than the petition, that petitioner shall serve copies of the document to all parties in the proceeding.  The petitioner has the option to participate in an exchange of evidence with the Property Appraiser.  If the petitioner chooses not be participate in the evidence exchange, the petitioner may still present evidence for consideration by the Special Magistrate; however, if the Property Appraiser asks in writing for specific evidence before the hearing in connection with a filed petition, and the petitioner has evidence and knowingly refuses to provide it to the Property Appraiser a reasonable time before the hearing, the evidence cannot be presented by the petitioner or accepted for consideration.  If the petitioner chooses to participate in an exchange of evidence with the Property Appraiser, at least fifteen (15) calendar days before the hearing the petitioner shall provide the Property Appraiser with a list and summary of evidence to be presented at the hearing accompanied by copies of documentation to be presented at the hearing return to top
Can my VAB hearing be rescheduled to another date?
Yes.  The petitioner may reschedule the hearing without good cause one time by submitted a written request to the Clerk no fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled appearance return to top
Is there any way to resolve my property tax issue without having to file an appeal with the VAB?

Yes, you may request an informal conference with a representative of the Property Appraiser’s Office to discuss the issue. If it is determined that an obvious error of "Omission" or "Commission" was made by the Property Appraiser’s Office, the error can be corrected without having to file a petition with the VAB. However, if it is determined that no such error was made, and it is just a matter of a "Difference of Opinion" as to what the Market and/or Assessed value of your property should be, then you should file a petition with the VAB

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