Manatee County property values jump 7.48 percent to $25.9B

skennedy@bradenton.comJuly 1, 2014 

Laura Stavola and Holly Pascarella, agents with Keller Williams' Lakewood Ranch office, walk to an open house in the Greenbrook Village neighborhood in East Bradenton. Bradenton ranked sixth among U.S. cities for its volume of open houses in a recent national real estate data study. MATT M. JOHNSON/Bradenton Herald

MANATEE -- The taxable value of all property in Manatee County is on a roll, registering a 7.48 percent jump to more than $25.9 billion, according to the latest figures provided by the Manatee County Property Appraiser's office.

The total taxable value went up from $24,130,431,399 last year to $25,935,778,543 -- more than the appraiser's office had predicted in its estimated figures released last month.

"The real estate market continues to show improvement over the last couple years," said Mark Johns, county director of appraisal services. "New construction has also improved over the last two years."

Manatee County is showing $532 million worth of new construction this year, compared to $364 million last year, he said.

"It's improving, it's nowhere near the mid-2000 bubbles, but it is improving," said Johns. "It's good, sustainable numbers."

The highest growth areas were along the island beach areas, and in Lakewood Ranch, he said. But all areas showed growth.

Anna Maria recorded an 11.08 percent increase, from $646.4 million to $718 million; Bradenton Beach was up 4.71 percent, from $407.3 million to $426.4 million; Bradenton, up 7.56 percent, from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion; Holmes Beach up 8.09 percent, from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion; and Palmetto was up 4.09 percent, from $656 million to $682.9 million.

Sarasota County also registered significant gains, since its increase in taxable value rose 6.65 percent, up from $40.8 billion to $43.5 billion, according to Brian Loughrey, administrative director for the Sarasota County Property Appraiser.

On July 1, the property appraiser's office typically notifies the various taxing entities of the taxable property values in their respective jurisdictions, and tax rates and estimated revenue are calculated according to the results.

Last month's numbers constituted an official estimate; the most recent figures show actual values.

Jim Seuffert, the county director of financial management, estimated that the bigger numbers reported Tuesday would mean about $300,000 more than what he had expected for the county budget in early June.

At that juncture, county officials expected to reap an additional $10 million or so in tax revenue as a result of property value increases, some of which would be used to supplant reserves, the Bradenton Herald reported last month.

Seuffert noted when discussing the latest numbers that the county is still dipping into its reserves for the 2015 budget, which the commission will be discussing later in the summer.

"We're still using a lot of reserves, it will continue another three years," Seuffert said.

"There's a misconception that we're seeing growth in our tax base, and suddenly we have more money to spend on a wide variety of things, but really, we're very much short of where we were just a few years ago," Seuffert said.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.

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