Sunday, August 22, 2010

You'll find surprises on your Duval property tax bill

Of the more than 200,000 declared homesteads in Duval County - people whose primary residence is the home they own - more than 106,000 will see their market value drop but the amount on which they are taxed increase.

It's a wrinkle in the Save Our Homes law that calls for the assessed value to "recapture" some of the savings homeowners benefited from over the years.

The law kept assessed values low, capping growth at either 3 percent or the inflation rate - whichever is lower.

But the law works in reverse, too, and the assessed value rises with the inflation rate - even if property values are dropping - until it catches back up with the market value.

Last year, when property values sank, it went largely unnoticed because inflation was only a tenth of a percent, Duval County Property Appraiser Jim Overton said.

Now, assessed values are climbing 2.7 percent with inflation. Combined with Peyton's proposed 9 percent tax rate increase, homesteaded property owners will see a difference.

Without the rate increase, Peyton has said, the City Council would have to find another $45 million to cut from his proposed nearly $1 billion budget.

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