Sunday, June 11, 2006


Let's rephrase the question. Let's ask, "Can I afford not to appeal my property taxes when I can retain someone to do it on a contingency basis?"

Case in point: A friend of a friend was considering not retaining me this year to appeal the property taxes on apartment buildings she owns in Miami and Miami Beach. I suggested she hire me and work more closely with me by making sure I get records of her income and expenses. I explained to her that in today's market, valuation analyzed on an income approach frequently yields lower valuations than on the market, or "comparable sales" approach heavily relied on by the county property appraiser in preparing tax assessments.

The result: success!

By preparing income and expense analyses in addition to the traditional comparable sales approach, I obtained a reduction on the Miami property of 16% and on the Miami Beach property of 15%, results certainly worth the candle.

For property tax appeals, the appropriate adage is, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." Where, as in this industry, tax appeal agents work on a contingency basis, the taxpayer has nothing to lose.

As with the retention of any professional, choose carefully. Ask friends or professional colleagues for referrals. If you own commercial property, ask fellow property owners who they use for this purpose and how they like the results and the professional relationship.

Or just contact this blogger to review your commercial property tax assessment at no charge.
Daniel A. Weiss is a former Attorney Special Master for the Miami-Dade County Value Adjustment Board. Mr. Weiss now represents commercial, institutional charitable, commercial, high-end residential, agricultural and municipal taxpayers at VAB proceedings throughout the State of Florida. Mr. Weiss handles both valuation and legal claims.

Mr. Weiss has over 25 years property tax experience. Mr. Weiss represented the Miami-Dade County taxing authorities in litigation and appeals between 1981 and 1995 as a Miami-Dade Assistant County Attorney and has since represented taxpayers in property tax matters.

Mr. Weiss appears as one of Florida's Super Lawyers 2006 in the publication of the same name. He was named by his peers as one of the top 6 local government lawyers in South Florida.

In Florida Trend magazine’s “Legal Elite” issue, July 2004, Mr. Weiss was selected by his peers as one of the top 30 government lawyers in the State of Florida.

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