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Cape Coral tax rate bumps back up

By Staff | Oct 8, 2011

Property values dropped more than expected in Cape Coral, according to Lee County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson, who said Friday that the city can expect to receive $743,690 fewer tax dollars as a result.

The difference between the projected and certified valuations was off about 1.09 percent.

Wilkinson said the difference had nothing to do with a software glitch, as was rumored Friday afternoon, but instead was part of the normal process his office provides to those property owners who wish to challenge their valuations.

“There was no problem on our end whatsoever, it was just a continuation of the job we do every year,” he said.

Property owners have a 25-day window in which to challenge the value assessed by Wilkinson’s office. The difference in overall value for the city is a result of those property owners who successfully challenged the assessed value of their property.

“If they are able to show us during the discussion why our value is wrong, we can and have the authority to adjust the value,” he said.

Cape Coral’s tax rate will now go from the council-approved $7.87 for every $1,000 of taxable value to $7.95, after City Manager Gary King changed the millage rate on Friday. Last year’s city tax rate was 7.97 mills.

Although King could not be reached for comment, Councilmember Marty McClain confirmed that King made the change.

McClain said King reached out to council members on Friday afternoon to inform them of the situation after meeting with Finance Director Victoria Bateman.

McClain said King used a state statute that allows a city or county’s top administrator to adjust the millage if the forecast is off more than 1 percent.

At 1.09 percent, McClain said the city was lucky, in some regards.

“It was one of those rare cases where it was an easy fix,” McClain said.