Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County's property values fall more than 12 percent

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County's property values continue to plummet, with the latest figures from the property appraiser's office showing a 12.3 percent drop over last year.

Taxable value has fallen to just over $9 billion, down from last year's $10.3 billion, Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek's office said Wednesday.

"This doesn't come as a great surprise,'' said County Commission Chairman Dave Russell. "It's not welcome, but we did anticipate it.''

County officials have been expecting property tax revenues to be about $10.5 million short for next year's general fund, an amount that anticipated values falling faster than an estimate in March.

On Wednesday, Russell confirmed that the actual shortfall could be as high as $11 million.

"It just creates that much more urgency in the budget-cutting process,'' Russell said.

Mazourek's figures show the reduction in property values is even deeper than last year's drop. Values from 2007 to 2008 fell 9.75 percent, the first time in years that values had fallen.

The numbers also reflect just how slow the home building slow-down has become. He reported $127 million in new taxable value in 2009, down from $398 million in 2008 and $703 million in 2007.

Mazourek said the latest numbers came to light as his staff prepared the upcoming tax rolls. "The numbers, as we worked them, they just got worse and worse and worse,'' he said.

The biggest hits were in vacant residential properties, which had risen so high in value during the boom years. There is not much demand for them either. "Very, very few permits were really issued,'' he said.

Building permits fell from 67 in April 2007 to 42 in April 2008 to 29 this April. The average permit pulled was for a home valued at $90,000, lower than last year's average.

Mazourek said the numbers seem to fluctuate from month to month. "It's been a very interesting ride,'' he said.

One new factor in the values was that the state Department of Revenue told property appraisers that, with so few sales available to determine property values, appraisers could consider foreclosure and short sales into their formula if research showed the transactions were at arm's length.

Mazourek said that hasn't happened before and his staff did consider such sales as they have been building the tax rolls.

"In some aspect, that is what the market says'' in such a depressed economy, he said. "Everything leads to the decline in values.''

Mazourek's office will present its certified tax values to the county and other taxing authorities by July 1.

On Tuesday, commissioners grappled with a variety of budget-related issues including a presentation by Sheriff Richard Nugent, who detailed cuts he might have to make if forced to reduce his $33 million budget by the $4. 2 million suggested by the county administration.

Commissioners also agreed to freeze wages for county staff and look at furloughs, staff reductions, shorter work hours and another round of early leave offerings to reduce payroll costs.

"This is no fun for anybody. This is something new for most of us,'' Russell said.

He said there is plenty more to be done to make the budget balance but that "there are going to be some reserves involved in lessening this impact.''

He said he realizes that using reserves "is only going to prolong the inevitable,'' but the hope is that the county will begin to recover in a couple of years when the economy does.

"The mission here is to preserve your core mission and your base,'' Russell said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

By the numbers

12.3 Percentage drop of Hernando County's property values over last year

$10.5M Amount county officials have been expecting property tax revenues could be short by for next year's general fund

29 Building permits pulled in April 2009

Hernando County's property values fall more than 12 percent 05/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and similar events, saying they are inappropriate could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …