Because of a terrible quirk in state law, the next Pinellas County property appraiser will be chosen only by Republicans in the Aug. 30 primary. The two candidates are Mike Twitty, a veteran appraiser in the private sector, and Jim Frishe, a former state legislator. There is no Democratic candidate, but the presence of a write-in candidate in November means only Republicans get to vote in a primary that should be open to all voters. Twitty is the clear choice.
Most jurisdictions have an appeal process for contesting an assessment. While the specific rules vary from one locality to the next, the process typically involves a hearing before an assessment appeal board. Taxpayers who have concerns about their assessment should visit their local Assessor's Office or its website to learn about the appeal process and what information is required in order to appeal a property tax assessment.
Federal law requires appraisers to have a state license or certification when working on federally related transactions, such as appraisals for loans made by federally insured banks and financial institutions. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) offers information on appraisal licensing. There is no such federal requirement for assessors, although some states require certification. For state-specific requirements, applicants should contact their state board.
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.
The BauGB defines the Verkehrswert or Marktwert (market value, both terms with identical meaning) as follows: "The market value is determined by the price that can be realized at the date of valuation, in an arm's length transaction, with due regard to the legal situation and the effective characteristics, the nature and lay of the premises or any other subject of the valuation" (non-official translation). The intention, as in other countries, is to include all objective influences and to exclude all influences resulting from the subjective circumstances of the involved parties.
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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.
“His 25 years of experience as a professional real estate appraiser, combined with his state certification, and his memberships in many organizations for both Realtors and property appraisers, make him an exceptional candidate for this important office,” Montanari said. “Besides his experience, Mike has the intelligence, character, and the right demeanor to serve all residents of Pinellas County.
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