Value Adjustment Board

​​ General Information

The Value Adjustment Board (VAB) consists of the following:

  • Two (2) members of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
  • One (1) member of the Alachua County School Board
  • Two (2) citizen members

The Clerk of the County and Circuit Courts is the Clerk to the VAB. The VAB as a panel considers and renders a decision on all appeal petitions relating to property assessments, classifications and exemptions. The VAB has no jurisdiction or control over taxes or tax rates established by taxing authorities. The VAB's one and only function is to hear evidence as to whether or not properties, petitioned for their consideration, are appraised at their fair market value and determine if an agricultural classification or exemption should be approved. The VAB cannot change an appraised value for any other reason, such as inability to pay.

To assist in the process, the VAB is required to appoint special magistrates, who are qualified real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers or attorneys, to act as impartial agents in conducting hearings and make recommendations to the VAB on all petitions. Both the VAB and the special magistrates are independent of the Property Appraiser and in fact, the Property Appraiser must present their evidence as does the petitioner.

Florida Value Adjustment Boards are governed by the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Florida Value Adjustment Boards are required to follow the Uniform Rules contained in the Florida Administrative Code, which can be found at​. Value Adjustment Boards may have additional internal operating procedures, not rules, which do not conflict with, change, suspend, or negate the rules adopted in this chapter, the Florida Statues, or case law. FAC12D-9.005(2)(a) and (b).


   Applicants for: Special Magistrate           


Petition Forms and Information
Additional Information and Links
When and How to File your VAB Petition

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The petition process begins March 2nd. You can file a petition online, or fill out this form  Petition Request For Hearing and mail in with payment or deliver in person to 12 SE 1st Street, 4th Floor, Gainesville, FL, 32601.  See Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 12D-9.015.

Petitions contesting exemption or classification determinations can be filed as early as March 2nd. All petitions, including value petitions, must be filed within 25 days of the mailing of the TRIM notices, making the filing deadline in mid-September. See the 2022 Calendar​ for exact dates.

  1. Petitions must be received by the filing deadline. The filing date is the date the petition is received by the VAB Clerk, noted by the stamped clock-in date on the petition. FAC12D-9.015(10) (filing means received by clerk during open hours).
  2. Petitions may be emailed to​, however the petition is not complete without payment, if required.
  3. The Board has designated the Value Adjustment Board Attorney Magistrate to make good-cause considerations on late-filed petitions. See FAC 12D-9.015(11). The VAB Attorney shall make a good-cause consideration using the criteria in the above Administrative Code and accept or deny each late-filed petition. For an accepted petition, the Clerk will schedule the late-filed petition and notify the petitioner. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified by the Clerk.

Incomplete Petitions

The FAC defines a completed petition as one that provides the required elements displayed above the sworn statement and is accompanied by a filing fee. If an incomplete petition is received either because there are missing elements or the fee is unpaid, the clerk shall notify the petitioner and give the petitioner an opportunity to complete the petition or pay the fee within ten (10) calendar days. (FAC 12D9-015(9). In the case of incomplete late-filed petitions, the petitioner must agree to waive notice periods to meet the scheduled hearing date; however, the Clerk will make every effort to notify the petitioner in a timely manner.

Fees Charged to file your Petition

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  1. There is no fee for timely-filed petitions appealing homestead exemption denials.
  2. All other petitions, including late-filed homestead exemption petitions, must be filed with a NON-REFUNDABLE $15 filing fee. Cash, money orders, checks (made payable to the Clerk of Court) and credit cards (plus a 3.5% service fee) are accepted.
  3. The VAB shall waive the filing fee with respect to a petitioner who demonstrates at the time of filing, by an appropriate certificate or other documentation issued by the Department of Children and Family Services and submitted with the petition, that the petitioner is an eligible recipient of temporary assistance under chapter 414. § 194.013(2), Fla. Stat.
  4. Joint petitions - The Property Appraiser will provide a Letter of Determination to include with the petition if the parcels meet the requirements.
    1. Owners of “contiguous, undeveloped parcels” may file a single, joint petition if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are substantially similar in nature
    2. Condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ associations may file a single joint petition on behalf of any association members who own parcels of property that the “Property Appraiser determines are substantially similar with respect to location, proximity to amenities, number of rooms, living area, and condition.”
    3. A single filing fee for joint petitions should be charged. The fee will not exceed $5 per parcel but will be no less than $15 per petition, and is to be proportionately paid by affected parcel owners.
Hearings before Special Magistrates

You will receive a notice of your hearing on form DR-481 from the VAB Clerk telling you the time and place that a special magistrate will hear your petition.

All hearings are held in the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville, Florida. All rooms are ADA compliant, but for any questions or special needs, contact the VAB Clerk at (352) 374-3605.

Parking is available in various locations around the building – see locations on the map located on the VAB website.

What happens at the hearing?

At a Value Adjustment Board hearing, a special magistrate takes testimony and weighs evidence from the property owner and the property appraiser and recommends whether to grant or deny the property owner’s request to change property’s assessment value or to have an assessment or classification applied to the property. The special magistrate will make a recommendation to the VAB. The special magistrate is an expert hired by the Value Adjustment Board who has no ties to the Property Appraiser or the County and can thus make an informed unbiased decision.

All evidence presented becomes property of the Value Adjustment Board.

This is a summary of the hearing procedure. See FAC 12D-9.023 for detailed provisions on how hearings are conducted. Please refer to this code if you need more information.

How Do I Prepare for a Hearing?

Arrive at the hearing equipped with all necessary information about the property: location, construction quality, features of the property, vicinity to surrounding landmarks, etc. and comparable sales for the year leading up to or around the date of assessment. Be aware that the special magistrate has no knowledge of your property, so pictures and descriptions may be critical to understanding your situation. Some individuals with high-value property may wish to have their property independently appraised.

Decide what evidence you will present, such as witnesses and be ready to give your own testimony. Be sure your witnesses know when and where the hearing is. Make enough copies of the written evidence you wish to present. You will need three copies in addition to your own to use at the hearing. This evidence should be provided to the Property Appraiser before the hearing.

You may want to contact the Property Appraiser’s Office for an informal meeting to see if an agreement can be reached with regard to the property. The Property Appraiser is required to meet with property owners if requested by the property owner. Although you are not required to meet with the Property Appraiser, such a meeting can be helpful in deciding what evidence you need in case an agreement cannot be reached.

How is the Market Value for My Property Determined?

There are three approaches to value: cost, sales comparison and income. The Property Appraiser uses a computer-assisted mass appraisal system that incorporates elements of all three approaches to value. For residential property, market value is usually determined by the sales of like properties that have occurred in the year prior to January 1ST of the current year. The Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (or TRIM Notice) shows the property appraiser’s estimate of the market value of your property as of January 1st. Property appraisers use sales data from the prior year. For example, the Property Appraiser would determine 2010 assessments based on the market value of similar properties in the same or comparable subdivisions between Jan. 2, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010. If a number of properties similar to yours sold before the January 1 assessment date, this would be evidence of market value. If you have questions about how the Property Appraiser valued your property, you can meet with the Property Appraiser before the hearing.


The special magistrate will review all the information and make his or her recommendation to the Value Adjustment Board. The Clerk to the VAB will send you a written copy of the special magistrate’s recommendation and the date and time the Board will meet to make a final decision.

Conducting a Hearing by Electronic Media

  1. You may request that your hearing be heard using telephonic means. The Clerk will set an approximate time in the schedule to call you with a phone number you provide.
  2. If the time scheduled to call you is delayed by more than 30 minutes, the Clerk will call you to notify you of the delay.
  3. All parties must agree on the methods for swearing witnesses, presenting evidence and placing testimony on the record and must be in agreement with FAC Chapter 12D-9.026.
  4. Such hearings must be open to the public either by providing the ability for interested members of the public to join the hearing electronically or to monitor the hearing at the location of the board or special magistrate.
After the Hearing

You will receive a copy of the special magistrate’s recommendation and notice of the board meeting where the board will make its final decision.  These meetings are open to the public.  The VAB can only approve or deny the Magistrate’s recommendation.   The VAB cannot take testimony or other evidence from the parties about the merits of the petition.  

Rescheduling your Hearing

Scheduling requests should be made in writing directly to the Deputy Clerk via fax # 352-374-5265 or email to The form  on the VAB website should be used for rescheduling requests. A petitioner and the property appraiser can each reschedule a VAB hearing a single time for good cause. Good cause is a circumstance beyond the control of the person seeking to reschedule the hearing that reasonably prevents the party from having adequate representation at the hearing. The Clerk or the VAB Attorney shall make the good cause determination. If the hearing is rescheduled, the Clerk shall notify the parties 15 days before the rescheduled hearing is held, unless this notice is waived by both parties. F.S. 194.032(2)​

Withdrawal of your Petition

Petitioners may withdraw their petitions at any time. Petitions that are withdrawn are required to be reported to the VAB Clerk. To properly capture withdrawals petitioners will be asked to complete form DR-485WI. A copy of the withdrawal form can also be obtained at the VAB Clerk’s office and on the County or DOR websites; they will also be available at hearings.

You may mail the withdrawal form​ to the VAB Clerk, 4th Floor – Clerk’s Office 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 or email a copy to the VAB Clerk at

Evidence to support your Petition
  1. What is evidence? - Evidence is generally defined as something (including testimony, documents, and tangible objects) that tends to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact. In Value Adjustment Board hearings, the term evidence usually means the physical documentation supporting your petition (e.g., written statements, comparable sales information, income and financial statements, appraisal reports, photographs, etc.). The special magistrate has no knowledge of your situation, so you must provide a description of your property in addition to supporting documentation. Section 194.011, Florida Statues lists the criteria the property appraiser must use in arriving at your just market value. NOTE: Documents and photographs submitted at the hearing are part of the record and will not be returned to you.
  2. When does evidence need to be submitted? - You must provide the Property Appraiser a list of evidence with a copy of the documentation to be presented at the hearing at least 15 days before the hearing.Section 194.011(4)(a), Florida Statutes.  Bring your original evidence to the hearing for it to be considered by the magistrate, plus two copies.  The original is retained by the Clerk’s office for the record and a copy is retained by the magistrate. You should also keep a copy for yourself.  The second copy is for the property appraiser, if you have not already provided a copy or for yourself to use during the hearing.  The evidence you provide to the Property Appraiser does not get filed with the Clerk’s office.  Do not submit your evidence to the Clerk’s office as it cannot be reviewed or considered in advance of the hearing.  Failure to do so may prevent you from submitting this evidence at the hearing.
    NOTE: If the 15th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the time ends on the previous business day. If you do not submit your evidence, the Property Appraiser can ask for the evidence to be excluded.
  3. How can I submit my evidence? - Section 194.011(4), Florida Statues dictates that all evidence MUST be submitted to the Property Appraiser’s Office. In order to fulfill this requirement as described above, you MUST submit a copy to the Property Appraiser’s Office, by mail at Attention: VAB Evidence, 12 SE 1st Street, Room 213 Gainesville, FL 32601 or by fax at 352-374-5278, or by email to . Do not send your evidence to the VAB Clerk’s Office. The VAB Clerk’s Office is not associated with the Property Appraiser’s Office. Your evidence must be received by the Property Appraiser’s Office at least 15 days before your scheduled hearing. Send only copies to the Property Appraiser, since you will need to bring your originals with you to the hearing.
  4. When does the Special Magistrate see the evidence I submitted? - The Special Magistrate does not see the evidence until you present it at the hearing. You must bring copies of your evidence with you even though you submitted it to the Property Appraiser. If this requirement has not been met, your evidence can not be considered by the Special Magistrate at the hearing. If you are submitting multiple petitions for adjacent or related properties and the same evidence applies to all those petitions, separate, duplicate copies of all evidence must be submitted for EACH petition FILED. You MUST provide a copy of your evidence to the Special Magistrate at your scheduled hearing, as well as to the Property Appraiser’s Office.
  5. How many copies of my evidence do I need to bring? - You will need to bring 3 copies of your evidence. You will need one copy for the Clerk, one copy for the magistrate and, if you have not already submitted your evidence to the property appraiser’s office, you will need a copy for them. In addition, if you want your own copy for use at the hearing, you will need to have another set. The original will be retained by the clerk’s office, the magistrate will retain a copy to finalize the magistrate’s recommendation, and the property appraiser will retain their copy. The evidence you give to the clerk, magistrate or property appraiser will not be returned to you.
  6. How do I make a request to receive a copy of the evidence the Property Appraiser plans to use at my VAB hearing? - If you want to receive copies of evidence the Property Appraiser plans to use at your VAB hearing,Section 194.011(4)(b), Florida Statues dictates that you must request this information in writing when you submit your evidence to the Property Appraiser’s Office. If you submit a written request to the Property Appraiser’s Office, you will receive, no less than 7 days prior to your hearing, a copy of their evidence. NOTE: If you do not give the Property Appraiser your evidence 15 days prior to your hearing, the Property Appraiser’s Office does not have to provide you with their evidence.
  7. What happens with my evidence once my VAB hearing is over? - The evidence you give to the clerk, magistrate or property appraiser will not be returned to you. Please make and keep your own copies. If you want copies of the documents you file with the magistrate or the VAB Clerk’s Office.
Noncompliance Process

If you have a complaint alleging noncompliance with the law by the Board, special magistrates, the Board Clerk, or any of the parties, you must put your complaint in writing and file it with the VAB Clerk.  If the complaint is against the Clerk, you may file it with the VAB attorney, instead.

The VAB attorney will review and respond to any written complaint within 15 days after the complaint is submitted to the Clerk or the VAB attorney.

The VAB attorney will send a copy of the complaint and the response to the Florida Department of Revenue within 10 days of issuing the response.

Routine requests for reconsideration, requests for rescheduling, and pleadings and argument in petitions may not be the subject of a complaint.

Do I have to pay my property taxes if I file a petition with the VAB?

If you have filed a petition challenging the assessed value of your property, you must pay all of the non-ad valorem assessments and pay at least 75% of the ad valorem taxes, less the discount, if applicable, before the taxes become delinquent. (See s 194.014, Florida Statute for additional information.)

If you have filed a petition challenging the denial of an exemption or classification, you must pay all of the non-ad valorem assessments and the amount of the tax which the taxpayer admits in good faith to owe, less the applicable discount, before the taxes become delinquent. If the Value Adjustment Board determines that the amount of the tax paid is grossly disproportionate to the amount of the tax found to be due, the Tax Collector must collect a penalty of 10% of the deficiency per year from the date the taxes became delinquent.

If the petitioner fails to pay their taxes before they become delinquent on April 1 of the following year in which taxes are assessed, the Value Adjustment Board must deny their petition by written decision by April 20th. 

If the Value Adjustment Board determines that the petitioner owes ad valorem taxes in excess of the amount paid, the unpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxes became delinquent until the unpaid amount is paid. If the Value Adjustment Board determines that a refund is due, the overpaid amount accrues interest at the rate of 12% per year from the date the taxes became delinquent until the refund is paid. Interest does not accrue on amounts paid in excess of 100% of the current taxes due on the tax notice.

  1. If a taxpayer doesn’t pay the taxes in the month of November, can a 4% discount be allowed later when the Value Adjustment Board renders it final decision? Yes, but only if the Value Adjustment Board rules in favor of the taxpayer prior to the taxes becoming delinquent. If the Value Adjustment Board rules in the favor of the Property Appraiser, the taxpayer is not afforded the 4% discount if the tax payment is not made by November 30th(postmarks accepted).
  2. Will a discount be allowed after the month of February if a taxpayer hasn’t paid the taxes and the Value Adjustment Board denies the challenge? No. Discounts are honored if a tax payment is made between November and February. No discounts are allowed in March. The taxpayer must pay the taxes in accordance with s. 197.162, Florida Statutes.
  3. How will the property owner obtain a corrected tax notice if the Value Adjustment Board approves the challenge?  The Property Appraiser will forward a certificate of correction to the Tax Collector for revision of the tax notice. Discounts will be applied, if applicable, and the corrected notice will be mailed property owner.

Please see the Tax Collector‘s website at for additional information on tax discounts and other tax information.

Local Contact Information

Office and Delivery Address:

  • Value Adjustment Board
  • 12 SE 1st St
    4th Floor
  • Gainesville, FL 32601
  • 352-374-3605
  • Fax: 352-374-5265