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Lee County's property market value goes up 1.5% in 2024, property appraiser says

Posted at 8:46 PM, Jun 05, 2024

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Every year for tax reasons, the county releases an estimate of property values. The numbers actually give us a better idea of how Hurricane Ian recovery is going. For Fort Myers Beach, the property appraiser says the town is doing well.

Since Hurricane Ian, so much has changed such as how homes look, what buildings are still standing and price tags. People like Fort Myers Beach realtor Andrew Cochrane, watches out for.

"We have less overall sales, but the dollars have increased per, you know, home," Cochrane said, who works for ERA Lahiana Realty.

With more money, your government has more tax income to work with. New numbers from the Lee County Property Appraiser's Office shows that taxable values have actually gone up.

This is a property's market value, minus any exemptions such as a homestead and being a veteran. It doesn't necessarily mean property taxes go up.

According to Matt Caldwell, Lee County's Property Appraiser, Fort Myers Beach saw a 45% in the taxable value in its 2024 estimates, which will be official July 1.

Caldwell says the high number is because of places like Margaritaville and people selling their older homes.

"You saw a property on the tax roll that used to be $10 million now is on the tax roll for $35 plus," Caldwell said. "Those properties had been most of them in longtime family holdings, they had been capped under the homestead or non-homestead cap."

Caldwell believes with previous Ian-damaged houses going on the market now that weren't on the tax roll last year, it's driving up that 45% number.

"You see the level of development happening, the level of activity out on the island," he said. "You’re talking about million-dollar lots up and down the beach."

"Yes, the property value will go up because everything is brand new," Cochrane said.

But he also thinks the big developments are forming some skewed data.

"I think a lot of those big marquee products have inflated the numbers as well," Cochrane believes.

There is some good news though. Lee County went up 1.5% in its "just value." This means the county's property values as a whole went up 1.5%/

"There's a sense of renew, there's a sense of expectation in the future where we're going to see property values go up because all the infrastructure is going to be brand new," Cochrane explains.

Your property value, depending on where you live, can potentially go up. However, you'll find out in August.

"Each property owner will get in the mail a breakdown of what their individual property is worth and then the proposed tax rates," Caldwell said.

The numbers released by his office show where our real estate market is and what taxes will go to the county to keep our area functioning.

If you want to dispute your property values, call the property appraiser's office.