Value Adjustment Board

  1. General
  2. Announcements
  3. Resources
  4. Members
  5. Special Magistrates
  6. Procedures

The Polk County Value Adjustment Board (VAB) is established by Chapter 194, Florida Statutes, to hear appeals of the Property Appraiser's determinations with regard to property exemptions, classifications, portability, and valuations, through petition filing and scheduled quasi-judicial hearings.

The VAB consists of two County Commissioners, one Polk County School Board member and two citizens members-one citizen member who has homesteaded property, resides in Polk County, and is appointed by the Polk County Commission; and a second citizen member who owns a business occupying commercial space located within the Polk County School District, appointed by the School Board. The VAB employs special magistrates who are either attorney with property law experience or certified appraisers to hear taxpayer petitions.

 Submit Petition 

Exemptions / Portability / Classifications

Applications are filed with the Property Appraiser for exemptions, portability, and classifications. Although the major categories are Homestead, Seniors Homestead, Agriculture, and Non-Profit, there are many exemptions and classifications, each with specific statutory requirements. The statutory deadline for accepting petitions for exemptions, portability, and classifications is 25 days after the mailing of Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices in mid-August by the Property Appraiser's office. The VAB must receive the petition by the 25th day, having it postmarked by the 25th day is not sufficient.

Denial of an Exemption, Portability, or Classification

If the Property Appraiser denies your application for an exemption, portability, or classification, and you wish to appeal that decision to the VAB, you may file a petition with the VAB within 30 days of the Property Appraiser's mailing of the notice of denial. These notices are usually mailed in June. The petition must be received by the VAB, not just postmarked by the 30th day. There is no fee for the appeal of the denial of a homestead exemption; however, there is a non-refundable filing fee of $15 for the appeal of all other classifications and exemptions, including portability.

Assessed Value

Truth in Millage Notices, which are proposed tax bills and are also referred to as TRIM Notices, are mailed to all Polk County taxpayers in mid-August by the Property Appraiser. Upon receipt of this notice, any taxpayer wishing to appeal the assessed value of his/her property may file a petition with the VAB. The statutory deadline for accepting petitions for assessed value is 25 days after the mailing of TRIM notices in mid-August by the Property Appraiser's Office. The VAB must receive the petition by the 25th day, having it postmarked by the 25th day is not sufficient.

Informal Meeting with Property Appraiser

Florida Statutes authorize a taxpayer to meet informally with the Property Appraiser, 863-534-4777, to discuss any matter he/she disputes. If the taxpayer resolves the matter of a VAB petition with the Property Appraiser, the taxpayer must immediately notify the VAB that the petition is withdrawn by submitting a withdrawal form.

Petitions to VAB

Petitions are also available online. Completed petitions should be filed with the VAB. There is a filing fee of $15 for petitions related to a single parcel. For petitions containing contiguous parcels, the filing fee is $15 for the petition, plus $5 for each contiguous parcel. The filing fee is non-refundable and checks should be made payable to the Value Adjustment Board and paid before the petition is considered "filed." 

The VAB is open Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 am to 5 pm, and is located in Room 342 of the County Administration Building, 330 W Church Street, Bartow. A petition may also be filed online at this website under "Online Petition" and the fee must be paid with a credit card. The taxpayer will be charged a convenience fee of 3.5% in addition to the filing fee when using a credit card.

Good Cause Hearings

The Clerk may accept, but not schedule for hearing, a VAB petition filed after the statutory deadline has expired. A petition and a non-refundable $15 filing fee may be submitted to the VAB or its designee for a good cause determination if the petition is accompanied by a written explanation with proof of the extraordinary circumstances which delayed the filing. If there is a determination that the taxpayer has shown good cause for missing the deadline, a hearing will be scheduled.

Hearings

All hearings are quasi-judicial, and everyone appearing before the special magistrate may be required to testify under oath. The type of appeal will determine the type of information, documents, and/or evidence that needs to be furnished before the hearing. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to furnish whatever is needed at the required time. Evidence exchange is governed by Florida Administrative Code Rule 12D-9.020.

If someone will be representing a petitioner at the hearing, and the representative wants to receive confidential taxpayer information on the petitioned property from the Property Appraiser, the representative must have written authorization from the taxpayer. This also applies to immediate family members if their names are not included on the deed. Please note that if the petitioner does not appear for his or her hearing, the petition will be denied. Some waiting should be expected, so you may wish to bring a book or a magazine. For this reason, we discourage bringing children to the hearings.

Documents


  1. Physical Address
    330 West Church Street
    Room 342
    Bartow, FL 33831

    Mailing Address
    Post Office Box 988
    Bartow, FL 33831

    Phone: 863-534-6502