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Lee County: Tax rate is not changing

By Staff | Sep 19, 2023

Lee County has issued a statement in advance of tonight’s final budget hearing where the elected board will adopt its $2.5 billion Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget.

“The budget includes no increases in county tax rates,” the release states.

“Information has been misreported by media about Lee County’s Fiscal Year 23-24 budget, stating that the tax rate will increase.

“Here are the facts about the budget, already given preliminary approval earlier this month:

“The county is charging the same tax rates next year as this year. The tax rate has not changed.

“If you are a homeowner who has a homestead exemption, your assessed value of your home cannot increase more than 3% and may decrease, depending on the appraised value of your home (per the Property Appraiser) after Hurricane Ian.

“Countywide taxable values increased, on average, 6.67% this year, which did bring in new revenues to build back public infrastructure after Hurricane Ian, and for needed resources in the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services, and Transit.

“The Lee County Hyacinth Control District and the Lee County Mosquito Control District are independent special districts with taxing authority and do not fall under the Lee Board of County Commissioners.

“The county’s tax rate did not increase 12.29%, as has been misreported. The General Fund tax rate next year is 3.7623 mills, which is the same as this year. The tax was decreased from 3.8623 in 2022 and from 4.0506 in 2021.”

TRIM — Truth in Millage — notices mailed by the County Property Appraisers Office include a column denoting a “rollback”rate, the rate at which property tax revenues would remain flat. When overall property valuations increase due to climbing values among properties and/or new construction, a taxing entity receives additional tax revenue when the rate stays the same. The impact on individual properties varies depending on whether that particular parcel increased in value and whether it is owner-occupied and Homesteaded or not. The TRIM notice tells the property owner the assessed value of their property and allows for individual comparison among the rollback, the existing rate and any proposed increase in rate.

Property taxes also are not the only levy on the tax bill. Other taxes and rates appear on the TRIM notice as well.

The public hearing before the Lee County Board of County Commissioners will begin at 5:05 p.m. today, Sept. 19, in the Commission Chambers at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers.