Hillsborough County Budget Plan Pinker Than Expected

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TAMPA – Two months ago, Hillsborough County Budget Trustees delivered grim news to Commissioners – expect tax roll growth to slow significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The message turned out to be wrong.

“Incomes have generally recovered faster than expected and ad valorem assessed values ​​have continued to grow at a rate above historical average levels, not least due to the strong housing market,” County Administrator Bonnie said on Wednesday. Wise, to the commissioners. “Tourism is flourishing, businesses are developing and we are now on the road to recovery”,

Wise’s comments came as she recommended a county budget of $ 7.141 billion for the coming fiscal year, which includes status quo property tax rates and more than $ 17 million unallocated and available for discretionary spending decisions by commissioners.

In Hillsborough unincorporated, the assessed value of real estate has reached $ 67.8 billion. Combined with personal and rail property values, tax rolls have jumped nearly 9 percent to $ 73.8 billion, according to the Hillsborough Property Appraiser’s Office.

Nationwide, the assessed value of real estate, after exemptions, increased by nearly $ 10 billion to over $ 112.7 billion. Combined with other properties, tax rolls increased 8.91% to $ 122.4 billion.

The percentage increases are significantly higher than projections provided by the state by county staff presented to commissioners in May. At the time, even with rising residential property prices, the state was forecasting weaker valuations for commercial properties due to the pandemic-induced business losses. The state estimated an increase in property tax rolls of less than 3.5%.

Related: Hillsborough budget snapshot: no new MPs or fire stations

“Obviously, the state’s numbers were underestimated,” said Bob Henriquez, Hillsborough real estate appraiser. Tampa Bay weather.

Part of Hillsborough’s increase is due to parts of the Water Street development in Tampa coming online in 2020, Henriquez said. The JW Marriott Water Street hotel, for example, added $ 101 million in assessed value to the property rolls.

Residential real estate prices have also been an important factor in the growth of the tax base. Across the county, more than 367,000 single-family homes represent nearly $ 60 billion, or more than half of the values ​​on the tax roll.

“There are areas that have been very strong. The housing market is on fire, ”said Henriquez.

This translates into additional revenue for government operations. The proposed spending plan is $ 44 million higher than the current budget until September 30. Some of the proposed new expenses would cover: mosquito control equipment; technological and safety improvements for county facilities; the reconstruction of a fire station in Thonotosassa; provide a new ambulance unit; improvement of the All People’s Life Center; park renovations and a one-time credit of $ 5 million for road resurfacing and sidewalk repairs.

Commissioners will discuss their own additional priorities, called flags, at a meeting on July 29. Commissioner Kimberly Overman has hinted that she wants to put more emphasis on affordable housing. Representatives of Hillsborough for Progress and Equality, HOPE, a community organization of 25 congregations, made their own pitch. They called for an annual investment of $ 500,000 in mental health services.

The county budget has two general funds and separate tax rates.

All properties are appraised at a rate of just under $ 5.74 per $ 1,000 of property value for prison operations, constitutional offices, social services, economic development and other programs. Businesses and residents of unincorporated areas of the county, about two-thirds of the county’s population, also pay a rate of just under $ 4.38 per $ 1,000 for services such as fires, law enforcement, parks and recreation, code enforcement and other departments. Properties in the three cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace pay separate taxes to their municipal governments.

The county-wide tax rate means a tax bill of $ 1,146 for a home with an estimated value of $ 250,000. The owner of a home of the same value in the unincorporated county would also pay $ 875 below this tax rate.


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