Mitch Burke

Gulf County tax base hits record high

Based on preliminary taxable values submitted to the Florida Department of Revenue, the Gulf County tax base is the largest it has ever been.

Gulf County Property Appraiser Mitch Burke said that this year’s value, which includes both real and personal property, is at $3.58 billion, approximately $516 million, or about 16.8 percent, greater than last year’s valuation.

The school district’s taxable value is close to $4.49 billion, which is up 11.71% or about $470.5 million up from 2023. There are two key reasons why the schools’ tax base is so much larger.

Burke said that the voter-approved amendment to the Florida Constitution, commonly referred to as Amendment One, includes the establishment of the second Homestead Exemption benefit of up to $25,000. This allows the property owner to possibly be eligible to receive an exemption of up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all taxing authorities, including school district taxes, but the additional exemption of up to $25,000 applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes.

In addition, school funding is not impacted by a cap of 10 percent on increases to non-homestead properties.

Burke said home sales have slowed from the numbers of a year ago.

“According to our office, 2023 qualified sales were 954, which is a decline of about 13.8 percent from 2022,” Burke said. “Statewide in Florida closed sales transactions have declined from 429,000 in 2022 to 387,000 in 2023, a drop of 11.89%.”

He said the county has also seen a decline in the average sales price for single family homes by 5.34%, from $618,000 in 2022 to $585,000 in 2023.

Burke said he attributes high mortgage rates, high property insurance as well as inflation with hampering homebuyers’ demand currently in Florida. 

“However, population and job growth still bolster homebuyer demand,” he said. “Millennials are still forming households and seeking their first homes. Domestic in-migration is slowing down, but still quite high. Florida is still an ideal location for ‘untethered’ remote workers, and retirees with existing home equity seem to not be fazed by high rates.

“Compared to the Northeast and West Coast, Florida housing remains affordable and even more spacious,” Burke said.

He said that a look at some of the economic trends for Gulf County appear to show big interest in the area. As of Jan. 1, 2024, new construction and additions accounted for $182.2 million in taxable value, an increase of about 24.1% from 2023’s $146.8 million. Prior to Hurricane Michael in 2018, new construction and additions has increased $140.3 million or 334.33%. “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 DR Horton,” Burke said, noting that the city of Port St. Joe’s new construction and additions totaled almost $70.2 million, or 38.5% of new construction in the county.

Under Florida law, county property appraisers must value every property in the state as of an effective date of Jan. 1, 2024. “Our appraisers consistently monitor market transactions and trends. Any increase or decrease in sales prices which occur in 2023 will impact property values as of our Jan. 1, 2024, valuation,” he said.

The Gulf County Property Appraiser’s office is located at 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd., Port St. Joe; by phone at 850-229-6115; or online at

Listed below are the 2024 preliminary taxable values for the county, school district, and cities of Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka. The percentage of change is reflective of the 2022 and 2023 final certified taxable values compared to the 2024 estimate of values.

Taxing Authority2024 Preliminary2023-24 %2022-24 %
Gulf County$3.58 billion16.8443.13
Gulf Schools$4.49 billion11.7141.62
Port St. Joe$725.2 million21.8557.16
Wewahitchka$97 million15.4536.24
New construction$182.2 million24.11134.79
Agriculture$66.4 million6.4515.10

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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