30th August 2007

County Property Appraisers On Crack In Florida?

posted in City Government |

So, during the run-up to the supposed housing bubble, the local property taxing authorities have been totally taking advantage of rising property prices by jacking up the assessed property values and thereby collecting more money. Somewhat evil, but hey, it’s the government we’re talking about.

Crack PipeActually what’s even more evil is that the county governments are threatening to raise the millage rate (thereby increasing the percentage of tax they collect) if the Florida state legislature passes a law forcing them to reduce property taxes due to screaming homeowners (see below), but I digress.

Now, theoretically if property values go down, so should the property taxes. Over the past two years there has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth from homeowners in Florida due to the “perfect storm” of rising property taxes and insurance costs (due to hurricanes) no pun intended.

I recently got the property tax proposals for the various single family rental properties we own and for the most part, the proposed tax amounts look like they will decrease next year. Not a whole lot, but at least they’re in keeping with the downward trend of housing prices in the area.

The only exception is one property which according to the proposed tax amount, is obviously in some special economic zone which is causing this property to be valued above market price…..or the Brevard County Property Appraiser is on crack. Either way, we will be disputing the county’s appraisal.

Even more sketchy, is that several contacts I have in the south Florida markets have let me know that the property values for their large apartment complexes have actually increased according to their property appraiser (Palm Beach County) to the tune of 20% – 40% and their downward trend in housing prices is sharper than ours. Now who’s on crack!?

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