What You Missed July 2012 General Meeting
by Rob Earhart

An Insider's View of Property Taxes

Presented by: Rob Turner, Property Appraiser, Hillsborough County and
Tim Wilmath, Director of Valuation, Hillsborough County, Property Appraiser's Office

July 3, 2012

Our guests were Mr. Rob Turner, the Hillsborough Property Appraiser, and Mr. Tim Wilmath, Director of Evaluation.

Mr. Turner began by instructing us that the County Property Appraiser is one of five elected officials, and there are 67 counties with 67 property appraisers. In Hillsborough County the tax goes to Doug Beldon but our appraisers have to reevaluate all business assets and properties each year. These are the “Tangible Personal Properties.”

TECO has over one billion dollars in tangible property. In Hillsborough, there are 521,000 parcels and TPP entities, valued in 2012 at $86.6 billion. In Florida, we have to appraise at 100% of value, by law. Other states do it differently, normally on a percentage basis.

In Florida the assessment date is Jan 1, and August 20 is the date of the TRIM notices. We send out about 100,000 per day to spread out the return phone calls. In 1995 we had 35,000 hits on our website per month but now we get about 35 million. You can check the site in July for the TRIM amounts so you can get a jump on calling. Then the tax bills are sent out November 1st.

In building a new home we have a “substantial completion” clause that allows partial charge for the amount completed.

The value is the total of the previous year’s value less any exemptions, like Homestead, times the millage rate. The millage is not set by the property appraiser, but the Education Board.

We suggest you call the office first once you get the trim notices to appeal. Houston has 4x the number of properties but had 200k appeals. Miami has twice the number and had 115k appeals.

The number of single family permits issued in 2005 was 9339, declining to 2029 in 2009, and only 2377 in 2011. In the first quarter of 2011 we had 717 issued. Residential properties make up 72.5% of all properties and 50% of the just and taxable values. The majority of the homes are single family homes totaling 293,000 in Hillsborough County. The balance are mobile homes at 14,000, townhomes at 25,000, and 41,000 condominiums.

Mr. Turner introduced Tim as a long time appraiser MAI. “We created this presentation to give you the latest info on what’s happening in Hillsborough County,” exclaimed Tim. Single family values were going up 25% in 2006 but dropped to negative 16% in 2009. We are now at negative 5% last year and now. Single family home sales in 2005 were 28,188, dropping to 10,886 in 2011. Even the luxury homes over one million dropped from 2280 in 2007 to 1075 in 2012.

From 2002 to 2006, we averaged about 5,000 lis pendens in Hillsborough county, with a high in 2008 of 22,583. The number of lis pendens has been declining but is still high, and is on track to be higher than last year. We have had 6,688 in the first half of the year, so double that would make them higher than last years’ 9,578.

Until the foreclosure market completes, we will not see much of an increase in prices. The prices per square foot are $77 for normal sales, $55 for short sales, and $41 for foreclosures.

We are seeing foreclosures in all areas except Sun City. In 2009 if you Googled “Hillsborough County Foreclosures” you got 151,000 hits, now it is 4 million. Short sales sell for about 20% less than market sales, and Bank sales are about 25% lower.

The trim notice has to account for Market sales, Short sales, and foreclosures so what you pay may be less.

Corelogic says that the distress sales are declining. Ranges of sales are $73 to $85 per square foot and it’s on the down side now, but seesawing. MLS inventory in Jan 2004 was 7,043, then in 2008 it was 22,000; now we have 7,770 in the pipeline.

There have been many projections over the past few years that the “bottoming of the market” has arrived, but we still don’t know for sure whether it has or not. The Florida office of Economic & Demographic Research (EDR) does property tax projections for every Florida County and in 2012 the property taxes are going to be down -2.1%. However in 2013 they project a .08% increase, the first in 5 years.

Tim went on to introduce the proposed amendments to be voted on in November.

  • Amendment 2 - Expands the combat veteran disability exemption
  • Amendment 4 - Increases CAP on non-homestead from 10% to 5%. Eliminates recapture. Creates a property-tax exemption for first-time home buyers
  • Amendment 9 - Exemption for surviving spouse of a military veteran or first responder who died in the line of duty
  • Amendment 10 - Increases the tangible personal property exemption from $25,000 to $50,000
  • Amendment 11 - Total exemption for low-income seniors if their property has a just value less than $250,000 and they have lived in their home for at least 25 years

Mr. Turner then gave his and Tim’s email addresses so anyone with questions may contact them: Rob Turner – turnerr@hcpafl.org, Tim Wilmath – wilmatht@hcpafl.org

They both stayed awhile to answer questions and we thanked them for providing us the information.


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