Miami-Dade appraiser says taxable property values fell 5%-7% in year
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
While Miami-Dade property owners and government coffers can expect another drop in county taxable property values this year, the fall is expected to be less steep than in 2010.
After countywide property values, made up of residential and commercial properties, tumbled 13.4% last year, Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia says he estimates this year's fall at 5% to 7%.
The drop should be "about half of what we had last year," he said. "When we get the final numbers, it could be lower than that."
Last year was record-setting for Miami-Dade, as the county's property values suffered their deepest fall in 41 years, plunging 13.4% compared to 2009's 9.5% dive.
To set 2011 taxable values, Miami-Dade's Property Appraiser's Office is analyzing market data compiled from Jan. 2, 2010, to this Jan. 1.
This means the taxable values set for condominiums, single-family homes and commercial properties are to reflect market conditions during this period.
But individual property owners won't learn what those values are until August, when they get their truth-in-millage tax estimate notices.
Mr. Garcia said he can't provide specific figures until his office finishes reviewing market data, including property sales that took place during the period.
But "it doesn't appear that the drop in values is going to be as big as we had the last two years," he said. "How much? We don't know yet."
Overall, the picture is brighter, Mr. Garcia said, as some cities are seeing a rise in values.
Miami-Dade's 2010 taxable values, released last July, showed a sharp decline for all municipalities, with eight cities posting drops of more than 20%.
In North Miami Beach, the fall was 20.4%, Bay Harbor Islands 20.5%, North Miami 20.8%, Biscayne Park 22%, Florida City 23.5%, Cutler Bay 22.7%, North Bay Village 26.4% and Homestead 31.2%.
The stall in construction along with foreclosures and short sales were the main contributors to the drop in taxable values during the period from Jan. 2, 2009, to Jan. 1, 2010.
In the construction category, the county added $2.6 billion in taxable value from new construction last year, less than a third of 2009's $8.3 billion. This contributed to the deep holes cities such as Miami, Homestead and Hialeah had to fill in their budgets.
Mr. Garcia, who took on the role of the county's first elected appraiser more than two years ago, said he plans to run again when his term ends in January 2013.
Miami-Dade's 2011 property values are expected to show the market has hit bottom already on single-family and condo properties, Mr. Garcia said, and in some cities they're starting to climb.
These are mostly Miami-Dade's most affluent areas, he said, citing Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Miami Beach.
"I believe every one of the cities is going to do much better, but some are still going to see a drop," he said. "There will be some recovery...Even the commercial properties look a lot better than we were expecting."
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