UPDATED december 2019
The Final Word on Tax Exemptions
A recent appellant case addressed the issue of whether administrative finality attaches to Value Adjustment Board (“VAB”) hearings. The case involved the denial of an educational exemption to a taxpayer. The taxpayer appealed the denial to the VAB, which ultimately granted the exemption in 2008. The Property Appraiser (“PA”) did not appeal the VAB decision and taxpayer received the exemption for the next five years. In 2014, the PA denied the exemption even though there was no change in the law or factual circumstances. Taxpayer argued the 2008 VAB decision was binding based on the doctrine of administrative finality, which bars re-litigation of an issue absent changed circumstances. On re-hearing en banc, the appeals court held that administrative finality does not attach to VAB decisions. The court reasoned that circuit courts have exclusive original jurisdiction in all tax cases, and the VAB only acts as an informal taxation dispute mechanism. Administrative finality requires either (i) going directly to circuit court or (ii) filing suit in circuit court for de novo review of an issue previously presented to the VAB.
Crapo v. Acad. for Five Element Acupuncture, Inc., 278 So. 3d 113 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019)
Daniel Wolfe Esq.
Rennert Vogel Mandler & Rodriquez, P.A.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)