(1) The application for deferral must be made annually upon a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the county tax collector. The application form must be signed upon oath by the applicant before an officer authorized by the state to administer oaths. The tax collector may require the applicant to submit any other evidence and documentation as deemed necessary by the tax collector in considering the application. The application form must provide notice to the applicant of the manner in which interest is computed. Each application form must contain an explanation of the conditions to be met for approval and the conditions under which deferred taxes and interest become due, payable, and delinquent. Each application must clearly state that all deferrals pursuant to ss. 197.303-197.3047 constitute a lien on the applicant’s property.
(2)(a) The tax collector shall consider and render his or her findings, determinations, and decision on each annual application for a tax deferral for recreational and commercial working waterfronts within 45 days after the date the application is filed. The tax collector shall exercise reasonable discretion based upon applicable information available under this section. The determinations and findings of the tax collector as provided for in this paragraph are not quasi judicial and are subject exclusively to review by the value adjustment board as provided by this section. A tax collector who finds that the applicant is entitled to the tax deferral shall approve the application and file the application in the permanent records. A tax collector who finds that the applicant is not entitled to the deferral shall send a notice of disapproval within 45 days after the date the application is filed, giving reasons for the disapproval to the applicant. The notice must be sent by personal delivery or registered mail to the mailing address given by the applicant in the manner in which the original notice thereof was served upon the applicant and must be filed among the permanent records of the tax collector’s office. The original notice of disapproval sent to the applicant shall advise the applicant of the right to appeal the decision of the tax collector to the value adjustment board and inform the applicant of the procedure for filing such an appeal.
(b) An appeal of the decision of the tax collector to the value adjustment board must be in writing on a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the tax collector. The appeal must be filed with the value adjustment board within 20 days after the applicant’s receipt of the notice of disapproval, and the board must approve or disapprove the appeal within 30 days after receipt. The value adjustment board shall review the application and the evidence presented to the tax collector upon which the applicant based his or her claim for tax deferral and, at the election of the applicant, shall hear the applicant in person, or by agent on the applicant’s behalf, on his or her right to the tax deferral. The value adjustment board shall reverse the decision of the tax collector and grant a tax deferral to the applicant if, in its judgment, the applicant is entitled to the tax deferral or shall affirm the decision of the tax collector. Action by the value adjustment board is final unless the applicant or tax collector or other lienholder, within 15 days after the date of disapproval of the application by the board, files in the circuit court of the county in which the property is located a de novo proceeding for a declaratory judgment or other appropriate proceeding.
(3) Each application must contain a list of, and the current value of, all outstanding liens on the applicant’s property.
(4) For approved applications, the date of receipt by the tax collector of the application for tax deferral shall be used in calculating taxes due and payable net of discounts for early payment.
(5) If such proof has not been furnished with a prior application, each applicant shall furnish proof of fire and extended coverage insurance in an amount that is in excess of the sum of all outstanding liens and deferred taxes and interest with a loss payable clause to the county tax collector.
(6) The tax collector shall notify the property appraiser in writing of those parcels for which taxes have been deferred.
(7) The property appraiser shall promptly notify the tax collector of changes in ownership or use of properties that have been granted a tax deferral.