Freshman state Rep. Nick DiCeglie filed a bill Tuesday that would allow county property appraisers to make “Truth in Millage” (TRIM) notices available online.
Making TRIM notices available on property appraiser websites wouldn’t just provide a convenience to property owners — it could save counties a heap of cash if their constituents opt to skip out on a mailed notice.
“As a small business owner, I always look for ways to cut costs while still providing value to my customers,” the Indian Rocks Beach Republican said. “HB 399 does just that by allowing Property Appraisers the ability to cut costs by posting annual Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices online for viewing. Utilizing technology will save millions of taxpayer dollars throughout the state and Pinellas County will save over $200,000 annually. I’m proud to sponsor this legislation and I will always look for ways to save the taxpayer money.”
Current law requires property appraisers to mail out a TRIM notice to each property owner in the county they represent. The new law would allow property appraisers to nix the postage costs and post those notices online, though they would be required to mail a notice out to any property owner who wants to stick with the current method.
According to the bill text, property appraisers looking to take the e-delivery route would need to “announce his or her intent to post the notices and present a plan to make notices available on his or her website at a public meeting of the board of county commissioners.”
Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty praised the idea and backed up DiCeglie’s savings projection in a news release announcing the bill.
“Printing and mailing costs associated with providing Truth in Millage notices to all property owners throughout the state adds up to millions of dollars annually. The cost alone in Pinellas County exceeds $200,000 per year,” he said.
“With the push to become paper-less in both the public and private sectors, now is the time to leverage technology to improve efficiency. This bill allows Property Appraisers to cut costs by posting annual TRIM notices online for viewing and downloading, saving significant taxpayer dollars for years to come. Property owners and taxpayers still desiring a mailed paper TRIM notice will have the ability to opt-in to continue receiving them in this manner,” he concluded.
DiCeglie’s bill is similar to a measure filed by Spring Hill state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia last year. That bill, HB 765, cleared one committee stop before stalling out.