Lee Daily

Lee County Homeowners Are Subject To Higher Property Tax Rates

Lee County Homeowners Are Subject To Higher Property Tax Rates

If you received a TRIM notice but don’t homestead, you risk being priced out of the housing market. Although the increase in your home’s market value is fantastic, there is a cost associated with it. Your property taxes may significantly increase as a result.

It results from the housing boom. For Cape Coral residents Melvin and Cynthia Williams, it’s not good. In the previous year, their appraisal increased by about $170,000.

“My first reaction was, how am I going to pay for this,” Melvin said. “With this drastic increase in home values it’s pushed our stuff, that we are looking at possibly as much as 200 bucks a month extra.”

The Williamses live in their home full-time, but since they lack a homestead exemption, they are not eligible for a $50,000 exemption from the assessed value of their property or the 3% cap on property assessment increases that protects our home.

“We’re going to be forced to do things like we’re cutting the cable with Dish. I’ma pick up the phone and call Dish and say I’m sorry. I don’t need you anymore,” Melvin said.

Despite having the homestead exemption, Adrienne Trimarchi still has a large property tax burden. Her home’s assessment increased by far over $100,000 in the previous year.

“I myself can, you know, retire in a few years, and this is where I choose to be able to do that. So I mean, you know, in, in not too many years, I’ll be on that same fixed income, you know, and bills that have been going up like crazy, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to swallow, it’s just one more thing,” Trimarchi said.

The assessed valuation of your home is subject to appeal. The property appraiser will evaluate it but is not required to lower the assessed value of your house.

Nobody enjoys hearing that their property taxes are increasing, according to Matt Caldwell, the property appraiser for Lee County. But he realized it was coming after witnessing the housing market’s surge during the pandemic.

“The just value went up; that’s the biggest number without any adjustments for exemptions or classifications. And that went up about 35%,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell is in charge of disseminating TRIM notices. For the last week, his team has worked with homeowners who want to appeal their new property assessments.

Lee County Homeowners Are Subject To Higher Property Tax Rates

“Our goal, number one, number two, number three priority is public service. So I want to ensure that when people reach out to us that we solve their problem if we can solve it, and the very least answer their questions they have,” Caldwell said.

The Williamses’ appeal was rejected, meaning they must now pay property taxes on every dollar of the rise in the value of their home. Not every appeal is turned down, according to Caldwell.

“Have some data you can point to say, this is why I think not just, you know, a general feeling of unease,” Caldwell said.

Next Wednesday, there will be a live seminar for those who want to appeal their assessments. At 2:00 p.m., it will take place at the Lee County Public Library in Cape Coral.

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