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The Portability Process. A County Perspective. FCIAAO Annual Conference Hutchinson Island Marriott October 30, 2008. Presented by:. Debbie Morawski, Martin County Marsha Coleman, Citrus County Erin Moore, Pinellas County Brenda Dye, Palm Beach County. Process.

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the portability process

The Portability Process

A County Perspective

FCIAAO Annual Conference

Hutchinson Island Marriott October 30, 2008

presented by
Presented by:
  • Debbie Morawski, Martin County
  • Marsha Coleman, Citrus County
  • Erin Moore, Pinellas County
  • Brenda Dye, Palm Beach County
process
Process
  • Overview: Implementaion, Application and Exchange
  • VAB Issues
  • Dividing Benefits & Assorted Conundrums
  • Forms and Other Dilemmas
amendment 1
Election Day

January 29, 2008

Amendment 1

All 4 parts will have a major impact on the Property Appraiser’s Offices around the State

We anxiously wait during day and night biting our nails.

Will it pass?

Amendment 1
january 30 2008
January 30, 2008
  • Amendment 1 passes.
  • Now what do we do?
  • Time to implement.
  • What’s first?
  • Phone rings off the hook, taxpayers start calling.
  • They want to know, How do I apply for Amendment 1?
i know i ll e mail all my friends in other counties they ll know what to do
I know, I’ll e-mail all my friends in other counties, they’ll know what to do.
  • They were all ready to help.
  • We discussed the most pressing issues.
  • Shared our thoughts and ideas
thank goodness for e mail
Thank goodness for e-mail.
  • We burn up the e-mail around the State.
  • What’s the plan?
  • Do you have a form yet?
  • What do we tell the taxpayers?
  • They’re anxious to get “Ported”.
amendment 1 anonymous aka a1a
Amendment 1 Anonymous, aka (A1A)
  • Creation of support group called “Amendment 1 Anonymous” A1A.
  • I’ve included membership certificates in my presentation packet. Just fill in your name. Oh, and membership is free.
  • Now we feel better.
  • We can go forward and make a plan.
martin county
Martin County
  • Step 1. Decide what needs to be done.
  • Step 2. Who’s going to do it?
  • Step 3. Move, if you can’t beat them, join them or change careers? Just kidding. Ha! Ha!
forms
Forms:??????
  • A lot of time was been spent developing forms for porting.
  • However, I think there is room for improvement.
  • We are going to hand out samples of all the portability forms to you.
forms cont
Forms cont.
  • While you are here today, please write the changes you think should be made to them.
  • We will collect them later this morning.
  • Then Howard Moyes can take them to the DOR forms person/people for review.
we had forms now we got started
We had forms now we got started
  • Now that we had forms we could begin taking applications.
  • We decided there would be 3 different groups of applications.
  • We realized there would be a lot of tracking.
set up files
Set up files

So we created 3 separate files

One file for applicants who moved within Martin county

One file for applicants who moved to Martin County from another county

One file for applicants who moved from Martin to another county

applicants who moved within our county
Applicants who moved within our county
  • Homestead and portability application is filed.
  • The applications are stapled together.
  • If the application is complete the clerk taking application stamps homestead application with a “Portability” stamp.
  • Application was put in Martin to Martin file.
martin to martin cont
Martin to Martin Cont.
  • A Customer Service Specialist was assigned to fill out all DR-501R forms for all applications in this file.
  • Same specialist was responsible for getting this portability info entered into our tax roll system.
applicants who moved to martin county from another county
Applicants who moved to Martin County from another county
  • Our Senior CSS Sandy was assigned to process these applications.
  • She was responsible for sending the DR-501T forms to the county the applicant moved from and making sure we received the DR-501R.
  • The Dr-501T form was faxed to the appropriate county with a copy of the homestead application.
to martin from another county cont
To Martin from another county cont.
  • We used the fax as our method of sending the applications to other counties.
  • A note was made on the application and a report was generated from the fax showing when we sent it.
  • When we received the DR-501R form from the prior homestead county, Our Sr CSS (Senior Customer Service Specialist) verified that there was a value to port and then entered the information in our tax roll system.
to martin from another county cont20
To Martin from another county cont.
  • If the Dr-501R form indicated that the applicant didn’t have a differential to port to his/her new homestead, that applicant was sent a letter telling them there was $0.00 to port.
  • Or if the DR-501R form indicated that the applicant didn’t qualify to port, either they didn’t have homestead in 2007 or the prior homestead was not abandoned, then that applicant was sent a denial.
from martin to another county
From Martin to another county
  • My assistant or I process the Dr-501T applications we received from other counties.
  • Mostly my assistant. Wendy stand up and take a bow.
  • This was an additional challenge this year because we converted to a new computer system and we had a difficult time finding the values we needed to put on the form.
from martin to another county cont
From Martin to another county cont.
  • We received the DR-501T forms by various means, fax, e-mail, slow mail or even Federal Express (must have been from the wealthy counties).
  • Most counties sent the homestead application with the port applications but not all. We found it very helpful when they were sent as part of the application.
  • We used our fax to respond in most cases unless the county specifically asked that we e-mail the forms to them. Then we would scan the forms and send them with an e-mail.
from martin to another county cont23
From Martin to another county cont.
  • We kept a copy of the application, DR-501T and DR-501R form for our files.
  • There were quite a few occasions where the county would contact us later and ask us to send the forms again.
  • We would make sure the applicants exemptions were removed and the mailing address changed on the account if they still owned the property in our county.
double checking
Double checking
  • As I said earlier, this year we not only dealt with Amendment 1, we also went through a computer conversion.
  • Here’s our new one. The system’s name is GRM. We fondly called “Grim”.
  • It has been a challenge.
getting the numbers right
Getting the numbers right.
  • We created a spread sheet of all applications for portability.
  • We put the value data, ownership data etc. on this spreadsheet.
  • We loaded the portability info from the spreadsheet onto our tax roll system and our new computer calculated the portability amount.
the numbers cont
The numbers cont.
  • Our computer system is set to calculate the portability amount based on the data we enter.
  • Our system will automatically decide if the change to the new property is an upsize or a downsize. The system will look at whatever we set the current years market value to be and do a calculation based on the data we had entered earlier into our system.
  • This allows us to enter all the data as we get the applications and we don’t have to wait for the current years final values to do our part of the work.
tracking
Tracking
  • We kept paper files
  • We also entered all applications on a spreadsheet.
  • We scanned images of all applications.
  • We crossed checked all these files to make sure all applications were properly responded to and processed.
the numbers
The numbers
  • Total applications filed in Martin County for 2008.
  • 601
  • Total value exempted through portability in Martin County.
  • $ 47,558,826 (Preliminary tax roll)
  • Applicants with nothing to port.
  • 67
the numbers cont29
The numbers cont.
  • Total number of 2008 port applications denied in Martin.
  • 30
  • Total number of petitions disputing denial of port or value ported in 2008.
  • 14, This number includes late filed portability applications.
pet peeves
Pet peeves
  • Receiving an application for portability with the applicants social security number blocked on the homestead application.
  • Receiving an application for portability without a copy of the homestead application.
new words or old words with new uses
New words or Old words with new uses

Port, porting, re-port, ported

These words used in sentences by taxpayers: Really they did.

How much will my taxes be if I port my homestead when I retire in 5 years?

I want to do that porting thing.

Can I re-port my same homestead?

I haven’t been ported yet. How do I do that?

other portability anomalies
Other portability anomalies

New phrase:

I want to move my taxes from my old home to my new home. How do I do that?

The Art of Porting

Creative taxpayer in our county figured out that if they abandon their hx, file a new hx application, apply to port differential from 2007, she would have an additional benefit of $50,000.

slide33
New support group:

A1A (Amendment 1 Anonymous)

Does anyone have any questions?

slide35

Little story about

Mike and Leanne –

2 people fed up with the “big” city land.

After 25 years in the house that they built…

they moved to Citrus County and had no guilt!

mike and leanne come in to file for homestead
Mike and Leanne come in to file for Homestead

Citrus County Employee “What was your last address?”

Mike and Leanne “We just moved from “Big” City Florida

the dr 501t
The DR-501T

The astute Property Appraiser employee hands Mike and Leanne a DR-501T so that they can file for Portability

the next step
The next step

The portability application is then attached to the Homestead Application and it is all sent over to the Exemptions Department for review

meanwhile in exemptions
Meanwhile in Exemptions

The paperwork finally makes it to the Exemptions Department, where it gets reviewed and …….an eagle eye spots the DR-501T attached and carefully fills out the DR-501RVSH to submit to “Big” City FL

the dr 501rvsh the newest improved dr 501r
The DR-501RVSH (the newest “improved” DR-501R)

The DR-501RVSH is then sent over to the old county by way of

the wait is on
The wait is on……

Within 14 days information is received back from “Big” City FL about the DR-501RVSH

the approval
The Approval

Everyone is happy when portability is able to be used and the amount is to the property owners liking

the denial
The Denial

The property owner will not be happy when a DR-490 PORT arrives at their house prior to July 1st

some reasons for the denial
Some reasons for the Denial…

Did not have Homestead for the prior year (or for 2009 and later – one of the last 2 years)

Did not abandon the prior homestead

Property did not get “reassessed”

Did not qualify for Homestead

Did not have a value to port (we sent a letter for 2008)

and still some more reasons why according to a few property owners
And still some more reasons why…..(according to a few property owners)

We just did not feel like giving it to them

We didn’t want to do the work

We should have informed them a year ago that they should not file for homestead as something better was going to be in place for 2008

where do we go from here
Where do we go from here?

Some of us would like

to be able to disappear

instead of

going to VAB

the start of the vab process
The start of the VAB process

The notice of Denial of Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference (DR-490PORT) is sent to the property owner

Denial sent prior to July 1st per Rule 12DER08-25

a petition is filed
A Petition is Filed

The property owner files the DR-486PORT and waits for their day in court (or at least some people feel that way)

the petition
The Petition

Once the petition is received, the Property Appraiser will make an attempt to resolve the issue prior to VAB…..unfortunately this will not always work out

the back up evidence
The back up evidence

All of the paperwork that relates to this petition is gathered, copied and compiled into a folder to be presented at the hearing

the most common statements as spoken by property owners
The Most Common Statements as spoken by property owners

“I have had homestead for 20 years …you should have told me that Portability was coming – you knew that it was going to pass”

“I really moved in after the date that I put on my homestead application so I should be eligible now”

some more
Some more….

“I am being discriminated against”

“Take the homestead off for 2007 here and I will get it back at my old house….someone told me that I could do that and you just won’t let me”

“The old county took off my homestead for last year (2007) and I didn’t want to complain about it”

and still more
And Still more….

“I didn’t read what I was signing”

“The law was voted on in 2008 but was effective in 2007….”

“I have been a life long resident of FL, gave up my homestead 10 years ago and rented until 2 years ago….I should be able to get that difference”

evidence
Evidence

Both sides give the Special Magistrate the relevant information

the hearing
The Hearing

The property owner (now petitioner) will let us know why they should be able to use the portability

The Property Appraiser will say why they are not eligible for the portability

The Magistrate will let everyone know where the law stands on the subject

the end result
The end result

“Once you have rung that bell, you can’t undo it!”

moral of the story
Moral of the story

We can’t predict the future…

dividing the port amount
Dividing the Port Amount
  • Two owners, tenants in common
  • Only one owner lived there with hx
  • SOH already limited to 50%
  • The entire benefit goes with the homesteaded owner
what about divorces
What about Divorces?
  • They can divide it IF the resident spouse “abandons” the hx and reapplies
  • They can’t do anything in the divorce settlement that conflicts with statutes
our favorite divorce line
Our favorite divorce line...
  • “But my wife is
    • not going to buy another house
    • has moved out of state
    • has disappeared
    • won’t speak to me

and won’t use her 50%. Why can’t I have the whole amount??”

really bad timing
Really bad timing:
  • Joe has owned his home since 1990.
  • Marries Sue in 2000. Sue is not on the deed, nor does she file for hx.
  • Joe QC’s house to Sue in January 2008
  • Joe wants to port his SOH benefit to his new house.
  • How much does Joe get to port?
nada nothing zip zero
Nada, nothing, zip, zero
  • “Since the transfer was incident to a divorce, there is no transfer. If there is no abandonment, the wife will be able to get the entire homestead exemption  in 2009.”Florida Dept of Revenue
slide79

Joe, a single man:Prior home just value $ 350,000Prior home assessed value $ 150,000Save Our Homes benefit $ 200,000 Joe and his sister Mary as tenants in common buy a new home. Mary does not live there.New home just value $ 375,000How much does Joe get to port if Mary does not apply for homestead exemption?

107 142 86
$107,142.86

Joe’s ½ interest in new home $ 187,500

Just value of prior home $ 350,000

This is a “Downsize”!

(Just value of interest in new home / Just value of interest in prior home) x SOH benefit of prior home

($187,500 / $350,000) x $200,000 = $ 107,142.86

dor s amendment 1 faq
DOR’s Amendment 1 FAQ
  • Upsizing / Downsizing when all owners and homesteaders move to a new homestead
  • Upsizing / Downsizing when two owners who each own an equal share of a previous homestead split
  • Joining and upsizing of two previous homesteads with single owners or multiple owners into one new homestead
slide82
Establishing a new homestead as a tenant in common
  • Downsizing as a tenant in common or a joint tenant without right of survivorship with a previous assessment limitation difference greater than $500,000.
  • Splitting and transferring an assessment limitation difference from a homestead with multiple owners whose ownership shares are not equal.
slide83
Splitting and downsizing from a homestead with multiple owners whose ownership shares are not equal
  • Joining of two homesteads when one owner with an assessment limitation difference from a previous homestead establishes a new joint homestead with a current homesteader who has an assessment limitation difference.
demolitions portability
Demolitions & Portability
  • Beginning 2009
  • If I demolished my home in 2008,
  • Rebuild & occupy during 2009
  • I can “abandon” and apply for hx & portability on the same property in 2010
  • But why would I?
permission to glaze over
Permission to glaze over....

Pinellas County’s Process for Demos:

2007 Assessed Value $ 165,800

2008 New Construction $ 381,800

2008 Assessed Value $ 547,600

keep glazing
(Keep glazing...)

What the Property Owner Figured Out:

2008 Market Value $ 801,100

2007 SOH Benefit - $ 319,200

2008 Assessed Value $ 481,900

amendment 1 portability section

Amendment 1Portability Section

FCIAAO Annual Conference

Hutchinson Island Marriott October 30, 2008

tracking portability
Tracking Portability

The portability button is on each homestead applicant.

tracking portability90
Tracking Portability

This window opens when the portability button is clicked

tracking portability91
Tracking Portability

Palm Beach County’s system of tracking portability applications

tracking portability93
Tracking Portability

2008 Portability applications

Porting within PBC 2,953

Porting into PBC 1,064

Porting out of PBC 1,178

Total port applications 5,195

Of the 5,195 total applications, we had 548 which

were granted but had zero value portability.

data issues
Data Issues

This is the form the taxpayer completes.

The DR-501T

#1 The field:

(new) “Parcel ID number” is left blank or is the same as the previous parcel ID number.

#2 The field:

(previous) “Parcel ID number” is left blank or is the same as the new parcel ID number.

#3 The field:

“Date sold or no longer used as your homestead”

is very confusing to applicants. Even though the field indicates “no longer used as your homestead”, applicants often put the sale date which could be in 2008.

#4 The section: “Step 4”

Field: “owner not applying for new homestead” is left blank

Field: “Did any of the owners remain” neither box was checked.

#1

portability forms and issues
Portability formsand issues

This form is completed by the previous county.

The DR-501RVSH

denials
Denials

Portability applications that

are denied are flagged with a

“D” in the status field.

denials97
Denials

Once the parcel has been flagged for denial, this screen allows a denial letter to be printed based on the Report Code entered.

We had 5 letters depending on the reason for the denial.

denials98
Denials

Sample denial letter. The body of the letter is the same for each denial type. The reason for the denial changes depending on the Report Code that is keyed.

denials99
Denials

Denial reasons used:

You did not meet statutory requirements, specifically: You did not have a 2007 Homestead Exemption on the previous homestead address given.

The information provided on your application for homestead portability was incomplete and could not be verified, specifically: No previous homestead information was given.

You did not meet statutory requirements, specifically: The Homestead Exemption is still being claimed on your previous homestead address.

You did not meet statutory requirements, specifically: Homestead portability applies to new homestead properties. Your Homestead Exemption was established in a prior year.

You did not meet statutory requirements, specifically: You did not establish your new homestead within the required time, or do not qualify for homestead exemption.

denials100
Denials

Denial form from DOR

DR-490 PORT

This form will be used for denials in Palm Beach County beginning with the 2009 tax roll.

Our I.T. Department is programming our system to generate this form with the appropriate boxes checked based on the Report Code entered in our tracking system.

The following fields will be auto-filled with information from various system tables:

To: Property owner name and address

From: Property Appraiser contact

information.

Previous homestead information

New homestead information.