money-2724235_1920.jpg

Volusia County’s property-tax base has grown by 8.5 percent over the past year, and more additional increases may be forthcoming.

An increasing demand for a limited amount of land, houses and other buildings has pushed the overall value of those commodities to a near-record high of $59.3 billion, according to the pre-preliminary tax roll released by the Property Appraiser’s Office May 30.

“Just values are up 8 percent,” Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett said.

Such total values have not been posted in Volusia County in more than a decade — not since just before the long-running recession that began in 2007.

The 2019 taxable values, also known as the tax base or tax roll, now amount to $36.6 billion — up from the $33.7 billion total for last year. The pre-preliminary tax base is roughly equal to the county’s 2007 tax base.

The tax roll is a subset within the just value.

The tax values for localities are up markedly from last year.

“DeLand went up 12.6 percent. Deltona went up 11.5 percent. Surprisingly, Oak Hill went up 11.46 percent. We’re seeing a lot of vacant land selling down there,” Deputy Appraiser Jan Cornelius said.

State law requires county governments to release their pre-preliminary tax roll, just value and related information on or before June 1. Property owners, Realtors, bankers, investors, and state and local government officials are interested in the pre-preliminary report.

The figures in the document provide a glimpse of the health of the real estate market and the local economy as a whole.

The pre-preliminary tax roll details the values of each of the cities and special taxing agencies, including hospital districts and the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Deputy Appraiser Jan Cornelius said the values may change somewhat — upward — when the preliminary tax roll is released on or before July 1.

“Some of the utilities, like Duke Energy and FPL, may ask for an extension of [reporting] their personal property,” she added.

If a city or county adopts an ad valorem levy higher than the rollback rate, the rate is a tax increase, as it will yield revenues greater than those of the then-current fiscal year.

Thus, even if a taxing authority keeps its tax rate level in a time of rising property values, that level figure amounts to a tax increase, and state law requires local governments to notify taxpayers of a pending tax increase or tax reduction.

The public notice comes in the form of newspaper advertising and the preliminary tax notices, known as TRIM — which stands for Truth in Millage — notices mailed to each property owner in mid-August.