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Phantom properties discovered for tax roll

Published Oct. 3, 2005

Imagine living in an invisible home. It would be hard to find the front door, and mowing the lawn could be dangerous.

But for tax purposes, there were 22 invisible homes in Citrus County until last year.

Property Appraiser Ron Schultz spent a year looking for property that wasn't on the tax roll. Eight part-time employees visited every one of the county's 47,320 homes.

The houses and other improvements they found in homes and businesses added 3 percent _ $104-million _ to the tax roll last year. In most cases, the improvements had gone undetected because the owners never applied for permits, Schultz said.

The property appraiser's office had not done such checks in years. Now Schultz plans to recheck one-third of the county's homes every year.

Here's a rundown of the phantom properties that were found this year that now will be taxed. Those listed were found at residential properties; information on the commercial improvements was not available.

Type Number Assessed value

Living Space+ 2.5-million sq. ft. $52.5-million

Paved areas 660 $6.3-million

Screen enclosures 2,560 $3.5-million

Pools 550 $2.8-million

Carports 2,860 $2.7-million

Utility buildings 5,170 $2.5-million

Detached garages 550 $2.4-million

Docks 1,890 $1.9-million

Fences 3,380 $1.7-million

Enclosed porches 690 $1.7-million

Decks 3,160 $1.6-million

Barns 350 $1.5-million

Spas 290 $1-million

All other categories $5.3-million

Total $87.4-million

+ _ includes additions and entire houses

Source: Citrus County property appraiser