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Island estimated property valuations increase

By Staff | Jun 7, 2017

The City of Sanibel property values have once again risen, an estimated 5.87 percent, over last year.

The numbers will not be finalized until July 1 when the preliminary values, which are sent to the state, are set.

The total taxable value in Sanibel is estimated at $5.031 billion, up from the $4.752 billion final figure in 2016.

Overall, Lee County’s estimated overall taxable value went up 6.56 percent from last year’s $67.887 billion to $72.343 billion.

“This is the start of the season where we are required to notify all the taxing authorities what they can look forward to in property values,” said Kenneth Wilkinson, Lee County Property Appraiser. “It tells them what they can set for the millage.”

Wilkinson’s office has analyzed the market activity for all of 2016 and the numbers are based on what they were as of Jan. 1, 2017.

Once the preliminary numbers are set, Wilkinson will also give taxing authorities a rollback millage rate, what cities can lower the millage to so it can get the same money.

“It tells taxpayers who is raising taxes and by how much,” Wilkinson said.

Fort Myers estimated valuation increased 8.09 percent, Cape Coral increased by 7.87 percent, Fort Myers Beach was up 4.84 percent, Bonita Springs increased 5.93 percent, and Estero went up 4.64 percent.

“Obviously we have not risen at the same level as our neighboring communities, but we didn’t fall as much as our neighboring communities. It’s nice to get a little boost,” City Council member Mick Denham said.

He said they are not quite sure what the data means to them quite yet due to the budget process getting underway.

“This is not going to make a large difference to the way we think. We don’t have the growth in redevelopment here, or new properties like the rest of Lee County enjoys. We expect our revenue to be relatively flat over the next few years. We don’t have the space. We are built out,” Denham said.

Wilkinson said all the numbers will likely change between now and July 1, which in recent years have trended upward. Those figures will be sent to Tallahassee for state approval. Wilkinson said he has never had an assessment declined by the state.

TRIM notices are mailed to property owners in August. Property owners will then have 25 days to resolve any disagreement in value with the property appraiser.

-Chuck Ballaro contributed to the article.