Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

Pinellas County property values on rise

RECOMMENDED READING


For the first time since 2007, Pinellas County property values are climbing this year, led by beach towns that took a beating during the recession.

In havens of wealth that line the county's barrier islands, estimated home and property values are predicted to rise between 5 and nearly 8 percent in 2013. And countywide, real estate values are expected to increase in every city, including towns that are currently experiencing little growth.

In a report released last week, Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam Dubov estimated that overall, the county's taxable value would increase by about 3 percent this year.

For Pinellas officials, rising property values could provide a boost to the county's budget, but a 3 percent increase would likely not be enough to close current and future gaps.

"It's better news than if we were still in a decline, but we still have some big challenges ahead," said County Commissioner Ken Welch.

He said he it won't solve the $30 million deficit the county is facing over the next two years, and it doesn't pay for the $5 million the state is requiring the county to pay into the retirement system.

For the last five years, the county's overall taxable value has been falling, plummeting by almost 12 percent in 2009, 10 percent in 2010, and 5 percent in 2011. Last year, values dropped by about 2 percent, a figure many interpreted as a harbinger of stability and perhaps even rising property values.

This year, Dubov's estimate shows that small beach towns where real estate values are often volatile will see the highest property value jumps. In tiny Belleair Shore, she expects a 7.43 percent increase, in North Redington Beach, a 6.61 percent increase, and in Redington Beach, 5.71 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, values in Gulfport are expected to increase by less than 1 percent.

In St. Petersburg, an estimated 3.74 percent increase in property values would translate into an additional $1.7 million in revenue, according to City Administrator Tish Elston.

"This growth accompanied by the current construction cranes and development proposals which have come before council create a sense of optimism … a welcome contrast with the past five years which reduced the city's property tax revenues by over $30 million," she wrote in an email.

Clearwater, with an estimated increase of 3.24 percent, is not far behind.

"In some cases, taxable values are going up more than we might expect in a normal year because of properties that are going through the foreclosure process," said Amanda Coffey, the deputy for government affairs for the property appraiser.

As people move out of these houses, they lose their homestead exemptions, she said, and the properties are taxed on their full value.

"We're still getting some of that extra value from that," she said.

Dubov has put property value growth in Tarpon Springs at just over 1 percent, less than City Manager Mark LeCouris was hoping for.

"It's on the low end, but it's a positive number and after these past years a positive number is a reason to rejoice," he said.

LeCouris said the city had expected growth between 1.5 and 2 percent, but the lower figure would not affect services or lead to major budget cuts.

"We might have to tighten up the belt in a few more places but I don't think it will cause a major effect," he said.

Staff writers Brittany Alana Davis, Mark Puente, and Keyonna Summers contributed to this story. Contact Anna M. Phillips at [email protected] (727) 893-8779.

Comments
The Daystarter: Charles Manson dies at 83; Kriseman hints at bold experimentation; Bucs hold off Dolphins for two wins in a row; Thanksgiving Day 5Ks

The Daystarter: Charles Manson dies at 83; Kriseman hints at bold experimentation; Bucs hold off Dolphins for two wins in a row; Thanksgiving Day 5Ks

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• We should see overnight lows in the mid-40s recovering to the mid 70s Monday afternoon. That’s thanks to lots of sunshine, according to 10...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Charles Manson, cult leader of gory killings in 1969, has died

Charles Manson, cult leader of gory killings in 1969, has died

LOS ANGELES — Cult leader Charles Manson, whose followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, died Sunday night. He was 83. A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections said Manson died of natural causes. The gory slaying...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Petersburg pedestrian fatally struck in Osceola County

A pedestrian from St. Petersburg was killed Sunday night when he was struck by an SUV in Osceola County.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the unidentified 24-year-old man was struck along on U.S. 192 at Pine Grove Road in St. Cloud around 7 p....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s tourism chiefs at Visit Florida spend a lot of public money taking trips to exotic places to promote Florida as a top worldwide destination.Four former top-level staff members at the state’s tourism promotion and its c...
Updated: 8 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Did Rick Scott run ads bragging about Florida’s minimum wage?

PolitiFact Florida: Did Rick Scott run ads bragging about Florida’s minimum wage?

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine wasted no time attacking current Gov. Rick Scott as he jumped into the 2018 governor’s race.In a Nov. 1 speech announcing his run, Levine, a Democrat, criticized the governor for being so proud of the state’s minimum w...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ernest Hooper: Effort to revive Urban League can fill a void in Tampa

Ernest Hooper: Effort to revive Urban League can fill a void in Tampa

A former U.S. Marine, Tampa businessman Stanley Gray knows all about a few good women and men.Now he’s looking for a few good corporations to help revive the Tampa-Hillsborough County Urban League. The chapter disbanded in 2006 after its efforts to r...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

ST. PETERSBURG — Police Chief Tony Holloway has made getting officers out of their cars, walking streets and talking to residents a key plank in his effort to improve relations between his department and the community.But three years into his adminis...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For Kriseman, second term means finishing what he’s started, experimenting

For Kriseman, second term means finishing what he’s started, experimenting

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman says he is ready to put a recent nasty re-election fight behind him and, continuing a theme from the campaign, is looking to the future.In an interview last week, he said he is relishing the chance to see big proj...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hearing set in effort by Leo Schofield to win new trial for 30-year-old murder

Hearing set in effort by Leo Schofield to win new trial for 30-year-old murder

BARTOW — A status hearing is scheduled Monday in an attempt to win a new trial for 51-year-old Leo Schofield, found guilty nearly 30 years ago in the stabbing death of his 18-year-old wife Michelle Saum Schofield.Court records show the case has been ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sentencing phase begins in trial of Adam Matos, found guilty in murder of four

Sentencing phase begins in trial of Adam Matos, found guilty in murder of four

NEW PORT RICHEY — The sentencing phase begins Monday in the trial of Adam Matos, convicted Friday of first degree murder in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend, her parents and her new bofriend.Assistant State Attorney Chris LaBruzzo said prosecutors wil...
Updated: 11 hours ago