Property values come in higher across the board in Sarasota County

Sarasota County’s total value is up close to $10 billion in three years, for a total surpassing $50 billion

The Property Appraiser's Office released these figures on May 25. Image courtesy Sarasota County
The Property Appraiser’s Office released these figures on May 25. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Although the final property value changes are not due until July 1, preliminary figures from the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office show the total county value up 7.78 percent from 2015, while the increase for the City of Sarasota is 7.83 percent.

The latest state figure for the county had projected a hike of 7.1 percent, staff told the County Commission on May 18.

The total estimated value of property in the county is $50,143,139,495, compared to $46,522,880,939 in 2015, the figures show. The latest number is up slightly less than $10 billion since July 1, 2013, when the value was $40,755,531,807. By 2014, the figure had climbed to $43,466,046,705.

The biggest jump in the preliminary figures for this year is for the City of North Port — 12.73 percent — followed by the City of Venice — 8.67 percent.

For the City of Sarasota, the 2016 estimated value is $8,738,042,730, compared to $8,103,709,242 in 2015.

The Sarasota County School Board is looking at an 8.11-percent increase — from $50,301,897,178 last year to $54,381,405,211 in the latest estimate. That is slightly more than the figure Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner provided to the Sarasota County School Board earlier this month. Weidner’s estimate was $54,256,641,853. (See the related story in this issue.)

County Administrator Tom Harmer. File photo
County Administrator Tom Harmer. File photo

Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer conveyed the news to the County Commission in a May 25 email. He added that staff would plug in the new estimate and provide updated projections during the next set of workshops on the 2017 fiscal year budget, set for June 22 and June 23.

In June 2015, the county had expected an increase of 7.02 percent in property values; the actual number was 7.17 percent.

Earlier this year, board Chair Al Maio pointed out that the county’s overall property value declined a maximum of about 42 percent during the Great Recession.

With his May 25 email, Harmer included three sets of charts from the Property Appraiser’s Office. Among them was one listing estimates of the market and taxable values of new construction as of June 1, 2015. Those figures ranged from a market value of $886,988,801 for the county to $17,979,382 for the Town of Longboat Key. The net taxable value for the county is $718,763,556.

For the Town of Longboat Key, the Property Appraiser’s Office projected a net taxable value of new construction at $16,851,330, which was the smallest figure for any of the municipalities.

The Sarasota County website says the number of permits issued so far this fiscal year for single-family home construction is up 26.6 percent, compared to the same period for 2015. (The fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2015.) Over the past 10 fiscal years, the highest volume of permits issued for new dwelling units in the county came in FY06, when the figure was 1,500.

Permits for new commercial construction issued in 2015 represented a value of $160.8 million, the county website shows. However, commercial permits are down so far this fiscal year, county data indicates. As of April 2015, 78 had been issued, compared with 62 in April of this year. For the first six months of this fiscal year, the value of commercial construction represented by the county permits is $45,170,764, compared to $56,302,379 for the same period in FY15.

The Vue Sarasota Bay under construction in downtown Sarasota — and other construction cranes — are visible from Siesta Drive. Rachel Hackney photo
The Vue Sarasota Bay under construction in downtown Sarasota is visible from Siesta Drive. Rachel Hackney photo

Mayor Willie Shaw noted in his State of the City address on May 27 that the city had issued 8,000 building permits over the past year, representing more than $305 million in new construction. (See the related story in this issue.)

During his State of the City address to the North Port Chamber of Commerce in June 2015, North Port City Manager Jonathan Lewis reported that the city issued 505 permits for single-family dwellings from October 2013 through September 2014, and that from October 2014 through May 2015, it had issued 440 such permits, putting it on track to beat the previous fiscal year’s number.

Among other data in the charts the Property Appraiser’s Office released last week, the estimated value of the Siesta Key Village Public Improvement District is up 6.74 percent; the projected value of the Downtown Improvement District in the City of Sarasota has climbed 15.03 percent; the estimated value of the St. Armands Special Business Neighborhood Improvement District has gone up 6.93 percent; the values for the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) have risen 8.55 percent for both county and city shares; and the projected increase in the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) is 10.29 percent.

Sarasota County staff and the County Commission have asserted that the county already has made its final payment into the Downtown Sarasota CRA and will not contribute any more money into the trust fund. The county does not participate in financing for the Newtown CRA.