A proposed bill in the Florida State Senate, known as Senate Bill 766, would provide assistance to the state’s school districts when finalizing their budgets. As it currently stands, Florida’s school districts need to wait until the finalization of the appraisal process in regards to adjustments made the state’s property taxes before they can submit their budgets.
The proposed legislation, which was introduced by Senator Anitere Flores (R-District 37), is looking to ease the financial burden on selected school districts who need to finalize their budgets, but can’t because they don’t know how much money they’ll be getting from the state’s property taxes – their main source of funding.
Senate Bill 766 would shorten the process of finalizing assessments and valuations so school districts can receive their funding in a timelier manner. The new bill would also require a change to the current law, where notification of an assessment is not mandatory.
If the bill passes and becomes law, it would require property appraisers to notify the Department of Revenue if their recertified just value of an assessment roll is less than the initial just value of an assessment roll by a specified amount.
Senator Flores pointed out that due to various procedural and other issues, it might take up to two years for a decision to be finalized – putting a tremendous burden on school districts when attempting to balance their budgets. To combat this, Flores wrote specific language within Senate Bill 766 that creates a “drop dead” date of six months, in which everything must be finalized and a decision rendered.
If passed, the new bill would take effect on July 1, 2016.
For more information, or to view Senate Bill 766 in its entirety, check out the Florida Senate’s website.