MANATEE — Manatee County homeowners have two weeks left to challenge the county’s assessed value of their property.
Homeowners must file a petition with the county’s value adjustment board by 5 p.m. Sept. 20, which is 25 days after TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices were sent out detailing what most likely was a decline in their property values.
Countywide property values fell by an estimated 13.3 percent from 2009, according to preliminary estimates from Manatee County Property Appraiser Charles Hackney’s office.
Hackney said his office fielded about 1,100 contest petitions in 2009, almost three times more than average. It took the value adjustment board — an independent body made up of two county commissioners, a school board member and two at-large members — until mid-July to complete hearings for all the petitions, he said.
In 2008, the office received about 350 petitions, Hackney said.
Based on the volume of inquiries he has received this year, Hackney said the number should return to normal.
“It really has been slower than it has for the past several years,” Hackney said. “As the market has been declining, we’ve been appraising lower and lower. Maybe people think it just can’t get any lower.”
Hackney said the number of petitions is usually unaffected by whether homes are appraised for higher or lower values.
“It usually doesn’t matter,” he said. “Whatever we do is wrong.”
The taxable assessed value of all properties in Manatee County is about $24.8 billion, down $3.8 billion from last year.
Of the municipalities, Palmetto’s property values fell more than 18.8 percent, Bradenton’s fell 13.4 percent and Anna Maria’s went down 4.13 percent.