MANATEE -- Property values across Manatee County have started to recover.
But county tax authorities say the average homeowner will only see a slight rise in property taxes from 2012 to 2013 and some may go down a bit.
That all became official this week when owners of a total of 170,393 real property parcels in the county were sent 2013 Truth in Millage statements, also known as TRIM notices. Those properties had a combined value 3.9 percent more than 2012, said Mark Johns, director of appraisal services at the Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office.
Anna Maria Island beach communities enjoyed the biggest rise in 2013 property value, up 8 percent over 2012, Johns said Tuesday, the day many residents got their TRIM notices.
The far eastern part of Manatee County, including Lakewood Ranch, was up 5 percent over 2012, Johns said.
The cities of Bradenton and Palmetto had a marginal increase in property values of less than 1 percent from 2012 to 2013.
"There were some areas of Bradenton and Palmetto that seemed to decrease in value," Johns said. "These would be older areas where
there is little or no growth. The whole city of Bradenton was less than a 1 percent increase. The biggest increases in value are the beach communities and the eastern parts of the county, because those are the areas that are experiencing the growth."
An increase in new home construction in East Manatee helped fuel the overall rise in county property values, Johns said.
Manatee County had 1,200 new homes in 2011 followed by 1,600 new homes in 2012, according to the Property Appraiser's Office.
An estimated 2,000 new homes will be built this year, according to the Property Appraiser's Office.
"What we are seeing driving this increase in property values is certainly the rebound in new homes," Johns said.
Based on proposed taxing authority rates provided by the county and the school district, Johns estimates the average county taxpayer will experience a slight increase in taxes this year.
The proposed taxing authority rates are the meat of the TRIM notice, showing property owners how their final proposed taxes are made up from money requested by taxing authorities, Johns said.
"On these TRIM notices, we are providing the value of the property and any exemptions, which yields the taxable value," Johns said. "But the important other part of these notices is that the taxing authorities have to provide their proposed millage rates for the year, which when multiplied by the taxable value, gives you your annual taxes."
For example, the millage rates used by the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto in 2012 were set at 20.0180 and 19.7995 respectively.
"What this meant is that if you live in Bradenton, last year you paid 20.0180 dollars for every $1,000 of taxable value on your home," Johns said. "This year, however, Bradenton and Palmetto are proposing millage rates of 20.4520 and 20.2715, respectively, which means an increase."
That doesn't mean that the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto receive all that money, Johns said.
The millage rates Bradenton and Palmetto have proposed for 2013 are made up of all the taxing authorities and revenue that is generated is spread between the taxing authorities, Johns said.
Johns grabbed a TRIM notice at random in his office Tuesday for a condominium in the 5400 block of 26th Street West valued at $19,045 in 2012, a drop from $20,701 in 2011.
The owners' proposed 2012 annual tax bill, found at the bottom of Column 6 on the TRIM notice, was $461.95, a drop from $491.67 in 2011.
The TRIM notice shows Manatee County would receive $134.14 of the total tax bill, which includes operations, special debt retirement and a Municipal Services Taxing Unit payment.
The School District of Manatee would receive $144.54 of the total.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District gets $7.48. Mosquito Control gets $2.45. The West Coast Inland Navigation District gets 75 cents. The Cedar Hammock Fire District gets $19.05.
That equals $308.41.
But on the back of the 26th Street West condo owner's TRIM notice, a listing of non-ad valorem assessments reveals the Cedar Hammock Fire District, which is among the few tax authorities to receive ad valorem and non ad valorem taxes, gets $153.54.
Adding Cedar Hammock's proposed tax to the $308.41 yields the $461.95.
Public hearings throughout early September will provide platforms where property owners can ask questions or voice concerns about these proposed millage rates from the taxing authorities.
"You can attend these public hearings and weigh in on these rates," Johns said. "The final tax bills are not sent out till early November after all the tax millages have been approved."
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686.