Pasco County's property values grew $1.1 billion for the coming budget year, a 5.2 percent increase over the current tax roll, according to preliminary estimates from Pasco Property Appraiser Mike Wells.
New construction accounted for nearly $685 million of the additional tax base, including new homes and businesses in the high-growth corridor of State Roads 54 and 56 along the county's southern tier. For instance, the Tampa Premium Outlets mall, which opened in October, is valued at $98.6 million. Recently opened luxury apartments at SR 56 and Northwood Palms Boulevard are valued at $35 million, and the Lowe's Home Improvement store on SR 54 in Lutz carries an appraised value of nearly $8.9 million.
In total, Wells estimated the property tax roll that will finance the county operating budget at $22.553 billion, compared to the current year of $21.438 billion. If the county property tax rate remains status quo, the higher tax roll will generate $8.56 million in new revenue for the county general fund budget.
Of that, $2.5 million is earmarked for transportation and community redevelopment agencies, leaving roughly $6 million to finance new spending for law enforcement, parks, libraries, elderly nutrition, code enforcement and other services, plus higher overhead and any proposed salary adjustments. Last year, commissioners authorized a tax increase to pay for higher wages for the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
The tax rolls increased for every governmental entity in the county, though the numbers are not as robust as the county growth. The tiny town of St. Leo, for instance, saw its value increase $22,436 to $8.74 million.
Estimated values and percentage increases in the tax rolls for other cities are: Dade City, $265.7 million, 2.1 percent; Zephyrhills, $609 million, 1 percent; New Port Richey, $504 million, 0.08 percent; Port Richey, $251.6 million, 0.08 percent; and San Antonio, $55.9 million, 1.4 percent.
The Pasco School District tax roll is more than $24.8 billion, nearly $2.3 billion higher than the county tax roll. The School Board is not subject to a second $25,000-per-household homestead exemption, approved by voters in 2008, which lowers values.
Pasco's property values peaked at $29.7 billion in 2007 before the real estate bubble burst, and additional tax exemptions removed nearly a third of the value from the tax rolls over a five-year period ending in 2012.
The budget year for the Pasco School District begins in July. The fiscal year for Pasco County and the six cities starts Oct. 1.