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Estimated taxable property valuations mostly up countywide

By Staff | May 29, 2020

With just a few exceptions, taxable property valuations are up throughout Lee County, according to preliminary estimates released by the Property Appraiser’s Office Friday morning.

Overall taxable valuation is up 4.96 percent countywide with new construction adding nearly $1.87 billion of taxable valuation. Last year, new construction added $2.1 billion.

Total just valuation for 2020 is estimated at $119.06 billion, up from $115.66 billion, in final numbers, from 2019. Total taxable valuation countywide is estimated at $87.67 billion, a $4.14 billion increase, or nearly 5 percent over 2019’s final numbers. The countywide taxable valuation for schools is higher — the estimate for 2020 is $94.53 billion, a $3.8 billion, or 4.21 increase, over 2019’s final taxable tally of $90.71 billion

The city of Cape Coral’s total taxable valuation is projected at a 5.75 percent boost with total taxable valuation estimated at about $16.3 billion, up from approximately $15.41 billion, last year’s final number. New construction taxable valuation is estimated at $490.72 million, up from last year’s final of approximately $473.61 million.

City officials said both numbers are good news for the Cape.

“An increase of 5.75 percent in taxable value is about $1.5 million more in ad valorem revenue than previously budgeted for Fiscal Year 2021,” city spokesperson Maureen Buice said in response to an email from The Breeze. “When the City adopted the preliminary FY21 budget last year, a 4 percent increase in total taxable value was used. Additionally, the new construction taxable estimates increased from about $474m in 2019 to $491m in 2020.”

The numbers, however, come with a caveat this year in light of the economic ripples created by the pandemic.

“Growth in property values is always good to see as it enhances investment value,” said City Manager John Szerlag. “However, during this pandemic, we have to be most concerned about individual economic situations. As such, we need to structure a budget that strikes a balance between the overall cost of government and maintaining a good level of service to resident and business taxpayers.”

Council will receive a proposed FY21 budget in mid-July.

That still is as work in progress as other revenue sources are assessed.

“Once the City receives gas tax revenues April and May, staff will have better estimate as to how the pandemic has impacted Cape Coral and any impacts on property valuations due to COVID-19 will be reflected in next year’s valuations,” Buice said.

In terms of taxable valuation, the city of Fort Myers is looking at a 7.34 percent increase, Sanibel a .02 percent increase, the Town of Fort Myers Beach a 2.37 percent increase and Bonita Springs a 2.48 percent increase.

The Village of Estero is looking at a .21 percent decline in taxable valuation.

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

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the attributions in an email sent by the city.