The Sixty-Day Limit for Challenging a Decision of the Board of Tax Adjustment
The Sixty-Day Limit Constitutes a Statute of Limitations Governing the Time for Challenging a Decision of the Board of Tax Adjustment:
In Williams v. Law, 368 So. 2d 1285 (Fla. 1979), two property owners applied to the Pasco County property appraiser for an agricultural classification.
The application was denied and the owners petitioned the Pasco County Board of Tax Adjustment for relief. the Board granted the owners the classification and the property appraiser filed an action in circuit court seeking to enjoin the Board from enforcing its decision, pursuant to section 194.032(6)(a), Florida Statutes (Supp. 1976).
The circuit court dismissed the suit as untimely.
The circuit court reasoned that because the suit amounted to an appeal from an administrative decision of the Board, it was required to be filed within thirty days of the Board's decision under Florida Appellate Rule 3.2 (1962).
The circuit court also concluded that section 194.171(2), Florida Statutes (1975), which provided a sixty-day time limit for instituting civil actions in circuit court to challenge property tax assessments, violated the Court's exclusive authority to adopt rules of practice and procedure.
On appeal, this Court ruled that the proceeding established by section 194.032(6) was not an appellate proceeding and, therefore, was not covered by the appellate rules. See id. at 1287 "(Section 194.032)(6)(a) clearly contemplates that injunctive relief shall be sought by way of an original civil action rather than by appeal.").
The Court stated that the sixty-day limit set forth in section 194.171(2) "constitutes a statute of limitations governing the time for filing an original action to challenge a decision of the Board of Tax Adjustment" and "the legislature clearly has the authority to establish such limitations." Id. at 1287-88.