To qualify, the homestead property must have been uninhabitable for at least 30 days and affected owners must file a sworn application for Abatement of Taxes for Homestead Residential Improvements (DR-463) along with supporting documentation to the Property Appraiser. If approved, the Property Appraiser will issue an official written statement to the Tax Collector, who will calculate and issue the credit.
The leading appraisal organization for personal property valuation is the American Society of Appraisers which is a sponsor member of the Appraisal Foundation and awards the ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) designation to candidates who complete five years of documented appraisal experience, pass a comprehensive exam along with required commercial and/or residential appraisal coursework, and submit two appraisal reports for review.
Buyer can make up the difference in cash.The lender cares about the appraisal only to the extent it affects the loan-to-value ratio. A low appraisal does not mean the lender won't lend. It means the lender will make a loan based on the ratio agreed to in the contract at the appraised value. Sometimes the buyer's lender will not allow the buyer to give cash for the difference and, in that event, have the buyer pay instead some of the seller's closing costs.
Unfortunately, recent distressed sales in the surrounding area can lower your home's appraisal value. If you feel that your home's value has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you may be able to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more if it's in significantly better condition than those properties. Sellers should also know that federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal values that contributed to the 2008 housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.
The proposed property tax rate, or millage rate, is set by various taxing authorities. Pinellas County is one taxing authority. There are others, such as the School Board and the individual municipalities. Based on their proposed budgets, they determine a “proposed” millage rate. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. Once the proposed millage rate is set, the taxing authority cannot raise it, though it is permitted to set it at a lower rate.