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Estimated taxable property valuations up countywide

June 5, 2019
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Taxable property valuations are up throughout Lee County, according to preliminary estimates released by the Property Appraiser's Office late Thursday.

Overall taxable valuation is up 5.36 percent countywide with new construction adding nearly $2.19 billion of taxable valuation. Last year new construction added $1.59 billion.

Total taxable valuation is estimated at $82.68 billion, up from $78.71 in 2018.

Total just valuation for 2019 is estimated at $114.19 billion, up from $109.52 billion in final numbers in 2018.

In Lehigh Acres, overall property valuation saw a more substantial boost.

According the Property Appraiser's preliminary numbers, overall valuation is up 9.8 percent within the Lehigh Acres Fire District, a boost of nearly $379 million over 2018's final total of $4.08 billion.

Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson said there were no surprises, in that while the market in some areas has slowed down a little bit and despite last year's water quality issues, growth remains strong.

"The tax authorities should be happy. The market is pretty steady and strong, which is a good thing for the economy," Wilkinson said. "It didn't like it when it was roaring and when we lost 49 percent of value in three years."

Wilkinson said he sees a levelling off in value increases, which he said is also a good thing and sure beats the declines from 2008-10.

"We can anticipate everything that happens in the next few years being positive," Wilkinson said.

That levelling off has already happened in some areas, especially on the beaches. Sanibel's estimated valuation was almost flat, increasing just 0.59 percent. Fort Myers Beach was up 2.54 percent, and Estero's estimated increase was 1.12 percent.

Numbers elsewhere were strong.

The city of Cape Coral's total taxable valuation is projected at a 6.48 percent boost with total taxable valuation estimated at about $15.22 billion, up from approximately $14.3 billion last year. New construction taxable valuation is estimated at $465 million, up from last year's final of $385 million.

The Property Appraiser's Office will continue to hone the evaluations with final numbers expected to be out on or before July 1.

Most taxing authorities use taxable valuations to set property tax rates.

The Lehigh Acres Fire District, which looked to change its method of "non-ad valorem assessment" via referendum Tuesday in a special election, used an assessment method that was not valuations based.



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