Last night State Senator Don Gaetz, along with other local officials and the Bay County Commission met at Gulf Coast Community College to discuss the recent rejection of the 2007 Tax Rolls from the Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office. The recent increase in property values over the last couple of years has sparked a sharp increase (500 – 600% in some cases) in assessed value. The milliage was reduced last year, but property assessments have increased so much so that the reduced milliage rates still did little to curb the increased tax bill. For some on a fixed income or with rental property, this affects their ability to own real estate because their operating costs sky rocket.
I just got off the phone with the property appraiser’s office, trying to understand how the valuation process works and how it could be improved. The way I understand it, the assessment is based on an average of “like” homes in the immediate area, not the individual home itself. So you end up averaging some homes of a slightly higher value with homes of a slightly lower value and you end up with skewed numbers.
At the meeting on Wednesday night, it was mentioned that the Florida Department of Revenue had agreed to review the current entire tax roll. Local tax payers gathered at the public meeting to voice their opinion on the recent increase and express their concern. Senator Gaetz, Representative Jimmy Patronis and Representative Marti Coley, R-Marianna questioned local spending and the offered the possibility of a milliage rate reduction.
I don’t know that I fully understand what could be done with the valuation process to make it better, does anyone have any insight on this?