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LEE COUNTY | Slapped with a hefty property tax bill? The county explains

Posted at 9:52 PM, Nov 08, 2023

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Some Lee County homeowners are fussing over surprisingly costly property tax bills.

Abby Yandek lives in a Cape Coral new build, as a first time home owner.

“It’s just shocking," she said.

After many calling into Fox 4, we reached out to the county for answers.

“I looked at it and it was almost 10,000 dollars," Yandek said.

Matt Caldwell is the Lee County appraiser. He notes the first thing to remember is how the property tax structure works in Florida. His role is to decide the value of a home by January 1 of each year.

"We [Lee County] don’t set the tax rates, we are not involved in the administration of local government. We work directly for the taxpayers," he said.

One element in driving up costs however, is Hurricane Ian.

“After the hurricane, I do know that several of the local taxing authorities picked a higher tax rate than they had used in the previous year," Caldwell said.

When it comes to new construction and improvements, a property tax bill will not be mailed out until the home is fully functional with assets like running water and electricity.

“If it doesn’t meet that standard then we won’t capture that new improvement until the next January 1," Caldwell said.

It makes sense in Yandek's case, after taking two years to build her home. It could be another reason your bill may be higher.