What You Missed October 2017 General Meeting
by Rob Earhart

Property Taxes and the Taxes You Pay

Bob Henriquez, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser

October 3, 2017

Mr. Henriquez started out with a story about the devil and the real estate investor. The devil offered him the chance to become a multimillionaire real estate investor, with all the wealth he would ever need. The only stipulation is that he would have to give him his soul, his children’s souls, and his wife’s soul. The investor only asked, “What’s the catch?”

He then described his position: “We have 525,000 properties, plus the various computers, desks, etc. that have to be evaluated for the tangible tax, that I have the privilege of representing you as your appraiser.”

Of the properties, 397,000 are residential, 158,000 commercial, along with 7000 agricultural and tangible properties. If you go to the northern counties, they would have more agricultural properties than residential.

In our office, we are more like historians. We are the appraisers that are setting the prices, but we are not the tax collector. We send out a trim notice in August, but we work on the previous six months to value the property, so some is based on the previous year’s value.

Single family prices are trending up to about $126 per square foot and it has just come back from where it was before the recession. Growth has been 6.5% to 8.5% and is more normal than in the past few years.

All this information is available to the public. A lot of plotted lands have been sitting but, with the lack of housing, they are coming to fruition.

Of the total sales in Hillsborough County in 2010, 40% were foreclosures. This year through June 30, only 9-10% are foreclosures.

How many have driven by the Patel house? Bob said, “I asked him when it would be done and he said it would be January 1, 2018.” If your house is done by December 31st, the home will go on the tax rolls as finished and your taxes will be going up for that year.

Literally all Triple A commercial space has been sold, generally Downtown and Westshore. Some have sold a couple of times. There is a lot of activity and the prices are gradually going up.

We have issued almost 15,000 permits this year showing a lot of activity.

State of the market? Fairly healthy. The trends are much more sustainable. I think we will be in good shape for a while, but I can’t tell you when something will change. We may have another downturn, but I don’t feel it will be as major as the last one.

We personally bought a new house and thought about selling our home in Tampa, but checked into renting it. We listed it on Saturday at 11:00 and, within an hour, we had 20 responses and they were bidding the rent up. I ended up renting it for $1,600 and could have gotten more. The rental market is hot in Tampa and the demand is outstripping the supply in residences.

When I took office the website was 16 years old and, in converting it, we made sure everything that was available in the old one was included in the new one, though sometimes it might be obscure.

We have nothing to do with millage, we just determine the values. The different areas determine what millage they need for their income needs.

We must physically, by law, inspect every property every five years, whether by a drive by or by aerial surveillance and oblique imaging.

Mr. Henriquez added, “Will Shepherd is our legal counsel and he is really good at explaining the different ways you can list property. I encourage you to have him come to speak to you”.

He then thanked all who attended for coming and hoped we learned something about his profession.


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