An aerial view of houses in Beacon Hill from earlier this year [ Bill Fauth | Contributed ]
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Gulf County sees highest ever taxable value

This year’s taxable value is the highest Gulf County has ever recorded, according to Property Appraiser Mitch Burke.

Burke and his staff provided the county’s 2023 preliminary taxable value to the Florida Department of Revenue last week, including real and personal property values and their changes from years prior.

“This years’ taxable value is the highest Gulf County has ever seen,” Burke said in a press release. “It surpasses year 2008 (the county’s previous high) by $166.29 million, or 5.78%.”

This number is likely to continue to grow even after the preliminary roll is submitted to the state, as the Property Appraiser’s Office continues to work on the tax rolls until about August 15.

Gulf County’s preliminary taxable value of $3,066,307,241 is 22.58 percent higher than in 2022 and 50.3 percent higher than in 2021. It is 76.33 percent higher than the preliminary taxable value from 2018, prior to Hurricane Michael, which greatly diminished local property values.

“While our office has worked diligently on the valuation of  new market sales and trends, we continue to work at restoring those properties repaired  and or replaced as a result of Hurricane Michael,” said Burke. 

Of the total 9,971 improved parcels, 7,678, or 80 percent, had some sort of storm damage associated with it as of January 1, 2019. “Today, our office has either replaced or restored 7,609 buildings,  leaving us only 692 or 6.94% still with some sort of damage,” Burke said.

Port St. Joe’s tax rolls have increased by about 30 percent from last year, or about 61 percent from 2018.

According to Burke, this is largely due to a large amount of new construction in the area.

“The City of Port St. Joe has seen a tremendous amount of growth in taxable value due to new construction of single-family homes from both DR Horton and Truland Homes,” he said. 

Port St. Joe’s new construction and additions totaled $66.90 million this year, a 135% increase from 2022.

But Port St. Joe was not the only area that saw large amounts of new construction this year. New construction and additions accounted for $146.80 million in taxable value countywide as of January 1, an increase of 89.17% from 2022’s $77.60 million. Burke said, prior to  Hurricane Michael in 2018, new construction and additions had increased $104.85  million or 249.93%. 

But Burke said that not all sectors saw growth last year. While sales in terms of price paid has continued to increase in the Gulf County market, the number of qualified sales has declined. 

Sales are determined to be qualified if the sale price reflects an accurate dollar amount relative to the actual market value of the property. Sales are unqualified if the sale price is not reflective of the market value.

“According to our office, 2022 qualified sales were at 1,107,” said Burke. “That’s a decline from 2021 by 21.7%.”

Burke believes the increase in mortgage rates has pushed inventory down to record lows. 

“Both new listing and total listings have dropped from this time last year, and that fuels homebuyer competition in some markets and keeps homes prices from falling further,” he said. “Right now, nearly every U.S. homeowner, should they sell and purchase another home, will move into a higher mortgage rate. As a result, those people that don’t have to sell won’t. That’s why pending homes sales nationwide are down about 17% from a year ago.”

Gulf County’s preliminary tax rolls were submitted about a week before the July 1 deadline and will be used to help with budgeting processes in the coming months.  They are subject to change before budgeting processes are complete.

County budgeting processes are already underway, with officials expected to begin drafting a budget in July. The county’s first budget hearing has been scheduled for Monday, July 17.

Preliminary Tax Rolls Gulf County

Taxing authorityAmount% change since 2022% change since 2021
Gulf County$3,066,307,24122.58%50.3%
Gulf County Schools$3,993,358,83226.03%73.04%
City of PSJ$599,854,10130%61.5%
City of Wewa$83,521,42217.32%34.1%
New Construction$146,802,03989.17%133.5%
Classified Use Ag.$62,391,2728.17%20.71%
Preliminary Taxable Value in Gulf County for 2023-24

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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