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Lehigh property tax roll estimates continue to rise

June 12, 2019
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lehigh Acres property values continue to rise, according to this year's projected property tax roll.

It also shows that while the housing market may continue to see increases over the next few years, prices seem to be leveling off.

The Lee County Property Appraiser's Office released its preliminary 2018 tax roll valuations on May 30.

The estimate showed a steady increase in property values and showed that properties within the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District saw overall taxable valuation increase by an estimated 9.28 percent.

"We are still waiting for the specific breakdown, but overall values are rising at a moderate rate, which is certainly good for property owners in Lehigh Acres. With so much affordable land, Lehigh is booming in the housing market. It also calls for a lot of activity by local government to beef up and expand the infrastructure. Like the expansion of SR82 and Daniels Parkway extension and Palm Beach Blvd going into Joel," Lehigh Acres Chamber Chairman and Operating Officer Michael Welch said.

Younger families and those looking for moderate retirement housing are also boosting Lehigh's rapid expansion.

"We have the youngest per capita population in the region due to the area's competitive pricing. The influx of families has also brought a need for more schools in the eastern zone of Lehigh Acres, which required the school district to expand. Presently there is a new high school planned to be built near State Road 82 and Daniels Parkway," Welch said.

According to the Florida Gulf Coast MLS, single family home sales in Lehigh Acres were down 13.8 percent from 2018, but median sales prices were up by 7.4 percent.

"Over the past few years the housing market in Lehigh Acres has seen an increase in the rate of sales, but we are seeing a slight slow-down. The prices for homes are substantially higher than a year ago, but prices remain low compared to the rest of Lee County," said Jack Morse, with Lehigh Showcase Properties, Inc.

Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson said overall the market is stable and that's a good thing given the bubble, which sent the local housing market crashing between 2008 and 2013.

"We are definitely seeing growth in the Lehigh area, because of the affordability. The market is stabilizing a bit, but that's a good thing for the economy," Wilkinson said. "Things get worrisome when you see prices increasing beyond what the local economy can withstand. During the housing market crash, we lost 49 percent of value in three years."

Wilkinson also commented that property values are climbing to compare to what they were 12 years ago, but at a steady rate.

Countywide Lee County is estimated to see a total assessed valuation increase of 5.36 percent, with a total taxable value of $82.679 billion. That would be a $4.207 billion increase from 2017.

The preliminary tax rolls will be released on July 1, which in past years have come in higher than the estimates. The Property Appraiser's office submits the assessment rolls to the Florida Department of Revenue for review and approval.

TRIM Notices are mailed to all Lee County property owners who will then have 25 days in which to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board to contest the property's value. Throughout the year, owners may also request an informal conference with the Property Appraiser.

For more information on TRIM dates and other important deadlines visit the Lee County Property Appraisers website at www.leepa.org/Dates.aspx

 
 

 

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