Preliminary property tax values showing slower climbs this year than last year

County’s estimated value up 6.21%, with North Port on top at 10.18%

New homes are under construction in the Fox Creek Acres development on Richardson Road. Photo by Robert Hackney

The preliminary total taxable value of Sarasota County property is up 6.21% this year, a decline from the year-over-year bump of 7.06% in 2018, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office has reported.

The preliminary figures, which are due by June 1 under Florida law, were released on May 24. The Sarasota News Leader had requested them from Brian Loughrey, administrative director of the Property Appraiser’s Office.

During the March 29 County Commission budget workshop, staff reported that the state had projected the county’s taxable value growth to be 6.4% for the 2020 fiscal year, which will begin on Oct. 1. However, not quite a year ago — in late August 2018, during the commission’s final workshop for the current fiscal year budget — the state projection for the increase in county property values for the 2020 fiscal year was 9.7%.

The City of Sarasota, which saw a preliminary increase of 8.49% from 2017 to 2018, has a preliminary uptick of 6.74% this year, according to the data released May 24 by Sarasota County Property Appraiser William Furst.

The figures reflect the changes from the certified taxable values of 2018, which were recorded in October 2018, according to a chart from Furst’s office.

The biggest hike from 2018 to 2019 in preliminary property values rests with the City of North Port, at 10.18%.

A chart shows the changes in the tax values from 2018 to 2019, as of late May. Image courtesy Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office

The Sarasota County School Board’s preliminary value is up 5.7%, while the value for the City of Venice is up 5%, and the value for the Town of Longboat Key has increased 2.67%, according to Furst’s report.

The total estimated value of Sarasota County property is $62,164,040,398, the report shows.

The most recent information from the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research, issued on March 7, had projected the figure for 2019 would be $62,064,600,000.

The final taxable value for the county in 2018 was $58,468,090,921, Furst’s report says.

A June 2018 graphic produced by county staff shows changes in overall Sarasota County property values over the past years. The 2019 preliminary figure is close to the overall value in the 2008 fiscal year, before the effects of the Great Recession became evident. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Sarasota County School Board leads the way with the preliminary, estimated taxable value of local government property: $66,373,394,871.

The preliminary total taxable value for property in the City of Sarasota this year is $11,205,456,777, up from the final value of $10,497465,534 in 2018.

The preliminary value for the City of Sarasota’s Newtown Community Redevelopment Area district is $172,896,801, up about 8% in comparison to the final value for 2018, which was $160,002,674.

This is a section of the 2019 preliminary property values, released on May 24. Image courtesy Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office

Last year, the County Commission — which collaborated with the City of Sarasota in creating that tax increment financing district — agreed to allow the city to reset the Newtown CRA base year to 2017. The original base year was 2009.

Additionally, while the focus last year was on all the new construction in the city of Sarasota, the market value of new construction for the county and the Sarasota County School Board lead the way this year, according to another report Furst released on May 24. The net taxable value of new construction for the School Board is $1,471,588,382, the report shows. For the county, the number is $1,420,040,004.

During the mid-year budget update to the County Commission, on April 24, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis noted that staff set a record last year with the figure for permits issued, “and this year, we’re matching that, so far,” with almost 20,000.

While the number of new commercial permits was down 14% for the first six months of the current fiscal year, he added, the value of that construction was up 24%.

The net taxable value of new construction in the city of Sarasota is $292,121,721, Furst reported on May 24. The figure for the city of North Port was not far behind, at $231,942,724.

These are the 2019 preliminary new construction values. Image courtesy Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office

The final property values are due by July 1, as local government bodies prepare to approve their not-to-exceed millage rates for the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. The Truth in Millage — or TRIM — notices go out in August.

The County Commission has scheduled its vote on its tentative millage rates for its regular meeting on July 10. It will hold budget workshops on June 18 and 19, including annual discussions with the constitutional officers, such as Sheriff Tom Knight and Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Karen Rushing.

The final County Commission hearing on the 2020 fiscal year budget is set for Sept. 26 at the R.L. Anderson Administration Center in Venice.

Already, the County Commission has made it clear to staff that it has no intention of raising the overall millage rate. However, county property owners will pay more in taxes, starting this year, to cover the expense of the North Extension of The Legacy Trail, as well as new connections from Venice through North Port for the Trail and other, related improvements. That is a result of the voters’ approval of the $65-million referendum for The Legacy Trail, which was on the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election ballot.

For the 2020 fiscal year, that extra millage will be about 0.04 to 0.05 mills, staff told the County Commission in late March.

The Sarasota City Commission plans to hold budget workshops on July 8 and July 9. Its final budget hearing is set for Sept. 16.