Section 197.253, Florida Statutes 2003
197.253 Homestead tax deferral; application.--
(1) The application for deferral shall be made upon a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the county tax collector. The application form shall be signed upon oath by the applicant before an officer authorized by the state to administer oaths. The tax collector may, in his or her discretion, require the applicant to submit such other evidence and documentation as deemed necessary by the tax collector in considering the application. The application form shall advise the applicant of the manner in which interest is computed. Each application form shall 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 shall clearly state that all deferrals pursuant to this act shall constitute a lien on the applicant's homestead.
(2)(a) The tax collector shall consider each annual application for homestead tax deferral within 30 days of the day the application is filed or as soon as practicable thereafter. 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 the applicant is not entitled to the deferral shall send a notice of disapproval within 30 days of the filing of the application, giving reasons therefor to the applicant, either by personal delivery or by registered mail to the mailing address given by the applicant and shall make return in the manner in which such notice was served upon the applicant upon the original notice thereof and file 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 shall inform the applicant of the procedure for filing such an appeal.
(b) Appeals of the decision of the tax collector to the value adjustment board shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the tax collector. Such appeal shall be filed with the value adjustment board within 20 days after the applicant's receipt of the notice of disapproval. 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 homestead tax deferral. The value adjustment board shall reverse the decision of the tax collector and grant homestead tax deferral to the applicant, if in its judgment the applicant is entitled thereto, or affirm the decision of the tax collector. Such action of the value adjustment board shall be final unless the applicant or tax collector or other lienholder, within 15 days from 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 proceeding for a declaratory judgment or other appropriate proceeding.
(3) Each application shall contain a list of, and the current value of, all outstanding liens on the applicant's homestead.
(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 as provided for by s. 197.162.
(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 which 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 denials of homestead application and changes in ownership of properties that have been granted a tax deferral.
History.--s. 4, ch. 77-301; s. 3, ch. 78-161; s. 21, ch. 79-334; s. 146, ch. 85-342; s. 161, ch. 91-112; s. 1008, ch. 95-147; s. 6, ch. 98-139.
Note.--Former s. 197.0166.