2014 preliminary taxable values released

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By Special to the Chronicle

The 2014 preliminary certification of taxable values have just been issued to all Citrus County taxing authorities effective July 1,  according to Citrus County Property Appraiser Les Cook. The 2014 preliminary assessment roll reflects a total non-school taxable value for Citrus County of $7.89 billion and a school taxable value of $8.57 billion.

The certified values, when viewed outside of the Duke settlement and the retirement of the CR3 nuclear power plant, show a stabilizing roll with overall taxable values increasing right at a half-percent, according to the property appraiser’s office. The 2014 county taxable value represents a 5.34 percent increase over the 2013 worst-case value.

This stabilization is in large part due to stronger 2013 home prices and renewed construction in many Central Ridge neighborhoods, according to the property appraiser’s office. In addition, several of subdivisions that have suffered large price declines over the past five years — such as Citrus Springs, Beverly Hills, Sugarmill Woods and the Inverness Highlands — are now showing stable or increasing prices.

As market values recover and increase, the constitutional protections under “Save Our Homes” will offer homesteaded properties protection from rapidly escalating values, according to the property appraiser’s office. For 2014, the assessed value of homesteaded property may not increase more than 1.5 percent from last year’s assessed value, unless the owner has made changes, additions or improvements to the property or the ownership of the property has changed. Non-homesteaded properties are capped at 10 percent for non-school assessed values only.

This year’s new construction value of $66 million, while lower than 2013, should be viewed favorably when compared with 2011’s $49 million and 2012’s $56 million, according to the property appraiser’s office. Construction values in 2013 were exceptional by comparison due to the addition of some large commercial construction projects.

The city of Inverness, led by new construction and stabilizing home prices, posted a 1.59 percent increase from the final 2013 certified values, with a 2014 taxable value of $351,021,827.

The city of Crystal posted a 1.76 percent decrease to $423,447,630. Issues such as the retirement of CR3 and the uncertainty over flood insurance were both factors that existed in this marketplace. Both cities showed increased new construction for 2014.

Cook believes these taxable values released today reflect positive market trends and demonstrate the continued desirability of the county in the real estate marketplace.

“These are preliminary values,” Cook said, “and are not certified to the tax collector for collection until after the completion of the 25-day TRIM (Truth in Millage) period which begins in mid-August. That is the time when citizens are mailed their estimates of value and proposed millage rates and taxes for the year and are provided the opportunity for informal conferences to meet and discuss their values.

“My staff and I stand ready to work with the public through this time. Our goal is to resolve the majority of valuation questions or issues that arise through direct informal discussions.”

Cook went on to explain, “As part of the certification of the preliminary assessment roll process, this roll has also been submitted simultaneously to the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) for review and approval.”

This preliminary certification of taxable value establishes the basis of budget preparations and 2014 tax levy proposals by local and state taxing authorities. This is the first of three certifications of value required of the property appraiser’s office each year. 

Click on the files below to view PDF charts of gross taxable values as of July 1, 2014.