Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the VAB and the process for appealing property appraisals (assessments) and tax exemption, classification and portability denials.

Is the Value Adjustment Board part of the Property Appraiser's office?
No. The VAB is an independent board established by Florida Statutes (Chapter 194) to hear taxpayer appeals. It is composed of two City Council members, one School Board member and two appointed citizen members. The VAB is independent of the Property Appraiser's office.
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Do I need a Lawyer to file the petition and attend the VAB Hearing?
You are not required to use the services of an attorney to file your petition or to represent you at the hearing, although many taxpayers do so. You may be represented by either an attorney or an agent. If your agent is not 'licensed' in Florida (such as an attorney, C.P.A., property appraiser or real estate agent), then you will have to sign the VAB Petition or provide the VAB separate written authorization for your agent to represent you. The VAB staff will also attempt to assist you in filling out your VAB Petition; however, VAB staff members cannot give legal advice.
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What do I need to bring with me to file an appeal?
Bring a completed petition form and appropriate fee in cash, money order, or personal check (payable to 'Duval County Tax Collector') for the VAB filing fee. The VAB does not accept credit cards. The filing fee is non-refundable.
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Where do I obtain the forms to file my petition?
Petition forms are available, free of charge, from the VAB office (117 W. Duval Street, Suite #305, Jacksonville, Florida, 32202) and from the Property Appraiser (231 E. Forsyth Street, Jacksonville, Florida, 32202), or you may download the forms online at VAB forms.
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May I file online or by fax?
The VAB does not currently accept e-mail or fax filings. Filings must be mailed or personally delivered. The $15.00 non-refundable filing fee must be included.
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Is a petition timely if it is post marked on or before the petition filing deadline?
The petition must be physically RECEIVED by the VAB on or before 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date. The date of the postmark (if you file your petition by mail) is NOT the determining factor.
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What is the purpose of the non-refundable $15.00 filing fee?
The law requires that the filing fee be used to defray the expenses of the VAB.
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May I pay the VAB filing fee by personal check? By credit card?
Cash, money orders or your personal check are welcome; however, the VAB presently has no means to accept payment by credit or debit cards. Make checks or money orders payable to 'Duval County Tax Collector'.
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Who should I make my check or money order payable to?
Make checks or money orders payable to 'Duval County Tax Collector'.
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May I send cash in the mail?
DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE MAIL.
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Will I receive a receipt?
All petitioners will be provided a receipt for the filing fee and a copy of the filed petition.
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What are the pre-hearing evidence exchange procedures?
You are required to initiate an evidence exchange with the Property Appraiser. You may still present evidence if you do not initiate an evidence exchange; however, if the Property Appraiser asks you in writing for specific evidence before the hearing, and you have the evidence, but refuse to give it to the Property Appraiser, that evidence cannot be used at the hearing.

At least 15 days in advance of the Special Magistrate Hearing, the petitioner should furnish the Property Appraiser a list of evidence to be presented by the petitioner at the hearing, together with copies of all documentation to be considered by the Special Magistrate and a summary of evidence to be presented by witnesses.

If you timely furnish evidence to the Property Appraiser and if you request the Property Appraiser's evidence, in writing, the Property Appraiser must furnish you similar information no later than 7 days before the hearing. Please refer to FS 194.011(4) and FAC 12D-9.020 (proposed) for further details.

If the Property Appraiser asks you in writing for specific evidence before the hearing, and you have the evidence, but refuse to give it to the Property Appraiser, that evidence cannot be used at the hearing.  Please refer to FS 194.034 for further details.
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Where do I find parking for the hearing?
On-street, metered parking is available near City Hall. There are also parking garages in the vicinity.
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May I bring a relative or friend to the hearing?
Yes. The hearings are open to the public.
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May I record the hearing?
Yes. You may also arrange for a court reporter, if you wish. The VAB will, however, record the hearing; and you may purchase copies of the VAB audio CD for $5.00 each.
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What if I have a schedule conflict on the date set for the hearing?
Please note that the VAB petition contains a blank in which you should indicate any and all dates you or your witness(es) will not be available to attend the hearing. The VAB will attempt to schedule around any such dates provided with the petition. Petitioners may reschedule their hearing one time for good cause (s. 194.032(2), F.S.) by filing with the VAB a written hearing reschedule request by sending an email to VAB@coj.net, by fax at (904) 630-0576, in person or by U.S. mail to:

Value Adjustment Board
117 W. Duval Street
City Hall, Suite 305
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

If rescheduled, the clerk will send notice at least 15 days before the rescheduled hearing.

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What if I resolve my VAB issue directly with the Property Appraiser?
If you have settled your issues and wish to withdraw your petition, you must file a written withdrawal notice with the VAB. You may fax that form to (904)630-0576 or mail it to:

Value Adjustment Board
117 W. Duval Street
City Hall, Suite 305
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

If the VAB does not receive a written withdrawal of your petition, you may be treated as a 'failure to appear'. (See below FAQ)
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What if I fail to appear at the hearing?
If you do not appear by the commencement of a scheduled hearing and you have not indicated a desire to have your petition heard without your attendance and a good cause request is not pending, the hearing shall not commence or proceed, and the Special Magistrate shall prepare a recommended decision upholding the Property Appraiser, in acordance with the rules; however your right to bring an action in Circuit Court is not impaired.

If you do not appear by the commencement of a scheduled hearing and a good cause request is pending, the board or board designee shall rule on the good cause request before determining that the hearing should be rescheduled or that the board or Special Magistrate should issue a decision or recommended decision.

If the board or board designee finds good cause for the petitioner's failure to appear the VAB Clerk will reschedule the hearing.

If the board or board's designee does not find good cause for your failure to appear, the board or Special Magistrate will issue a decision or recommended decision.
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What if I am late for the hearing?
If the schedules of the Special Magistrate and the Property Appraiser permit, the Special Magistrate may (but is not required to) delay the hearing a few minutes to accommodate a tardy petitioner. If the petitioner fails to appear on time, then he or she may be treated as a 'failure to appear'. (See above FAQ)
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Who will be at the hearing?
The Special Magistrate (who is a neutral hearing officer appointed by the VAB to hear your case) and a representative from the Property Appraiser's office. The Property Appraiser's attorney attends some (but not all) hearings. It is rare that other people are present; but the hearings are open to the public.
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What will be the procedure followed at the hearing?
The Special Magistrate will introduce the parties and make an introductory statement. If either party requests, all witnesses will be asked to swear or affirm that their testimony will be the truth.

If the Property Appraiser furnishes the VAB sufficient evidence that he properly developed your assessment, he will earn a 'presumption of correctness.' The Property Apprialser will be given the opportunity to show (by a preponderance of evidence) that he correctly developed your assessment; and you will be given the opportunity to provide evidence to the contrary.

The Petitioner will then present evidence and testimony that the assessment exceeds just value; and the Property Appraiser will be given the opportunity to respond. Typically, the Petitioner is given the opportunity to 'have the last word'. Both, the Petitioner and the property appraiser, are permitted to cross examine each other's witnesses. Special Magistrate hearings are not controlled by strict rules of evidence and procedure, but fundamental due process shall be observed and will govern the proceedings. The Special Magistrate is allowed discretion in regard to the conduct of the hearing. Proceedings should be orderly, dignified, fair, and impartial. The Special Magistrate will probably not announce a ruling at the hearing, and copies of the Special Magistrate's recommendation and the boards' final decision will be mailed to all parties at a later time.
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How much time will I be allowed to present my case to the Special Magistrate?
The VAB and the Special Magistrate have the discretion to control the length of the hearing. Usually, the Taxpayer is permitted 15 minutes to put on a residential case and 15 minutes to present a commercial case. The Property Appraiser will be allowed a similar time for his response, (for a total average hearing length of 1/2 hour). The petition form contains space for the petitioner to indicate the expected time needed to present the petition; and the Special Magistrate may request all partites to adhere to those limits.
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What kind of evidence and testimony should I assemble for the hearing?
You may present any evidence that reasonably supports the contentions on which you are basing your petition. Among other things, this includes live testimony, appraisals, photographs, evidence of comparable sales, surveys and the like. The Special Magistrate will retain your submitted evidence for the VAB file; so you should be sure to bring a copy for your own records and a copy for the Property Appraiser.
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If I discover additional evidence or I think of something after the hearing, may I provide that evidence to the Special Magistrate?
No. Neither VAB members nor the Special Magistrate may discuss your petition with you or the Property Appraiser except during the hearing. Only evidence that is properly presented at the hearing will be considered.
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When will I receive the VAB decision on my petition?
The VAB must review thousands of petitions, and the process can be time consuming. You may not receive your written decision for several months following your hearing. If you have questions about the status of your decision, telephone the VAB at (904)630-7370, and be prepared to furnish your 'VAB number' (found on your notice of hearing and your copy of the VAB petition) and your parcel identification number (the 'RE#') when making your inquiry.
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What should I do if my taxes become payable before I receive the VAB decision (in other words, if I haven't received the VAB decision by November)?
You may not receive your VAB decision before your taxes become due. Your taxes must, nevertheless, be paid on time.

Taxpayers who file Value Adjustment Board petitions must make sure that they pay their taxes before they become delinquent. Fla. Stat. 194.014, which took effect on July 1, 2011, requires taxpayers who file VAB petitions to pay all non-ad valorem taxes and at least 75% of their ad valorem taxes before they become delinquent. Likewise, taxpayers who challenge the denial of an exemption or classification or a determination that their improvements were substantially complete must pay all non-ad valorem taxes and the amount of ad valorem taxes that they admit in good faith to owe. In Florida, property taxes become delinquent if not paid on or before the due date, usually March 31st of the year following the tax year. Thus, if a taxpayer fails to pay their taxes by the due date, usually March 31st, the VAB is required to automatically deny their petition on that property. 

There is some good news: The statute also provides that, if a petitioner is entitled to a refund due to the granting of their VAB petition, the amount of taxes overpaid will accrue interest at an annual percentage rate equal to the bank prime loan rate on July 1, or the first business day thereafter if July 1 is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, of the tax year beginning on the date the taxes became delinquent pursuant to s. 197.333, F.S., until a refund is paid.

The VAB does not collect taxes. You should contact the Office of the Tax Collector at (904)630-1916, option 4,  to make arrangements regarding payment of disputed taxes.

2017 Property taxes are due March 31, 2018.

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Whom may I contact if I have questions about the process?
The VAB staff at:

Value Adjustment Board
117 W. Duval Street
City Hall, Suite 305
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel.: (904) 630-7370
Fax: (904) 630-0576
E-Mail: VAB@coj.net

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Where is the Value Adjustment Board located?
The VAB office is located at:

Value Adjustment Board
117 W. Duval Street
City Hall, Suite 305
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

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How can the public participate in Value Adjustment Board meetings?
The public can participate in the official 'comments from the public' sections at every VAB meeting. Those wishing to address the VAB during a public comments period, are asked to fill out a speaker's request card (name, date, address, VAB petition number or subject), which are available before and during the VAB meeting. Each speaker is limited to three minutes. Those wishing to speak will be called to the podium when the public comments portion of the VAB meeting is opened.

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