The Property Appraiser Bandit is Back

Ted Noftall
4:55 PM


So the  News Journal front page story  from 2 days advised     “Volusia county property Appraiser Morgan Gilreath hasn’t been accustomed to giving good news to local government”  AND in an inside story in yesterday’s  paper regarding Deland we are told “ The preliminary property numbers were a little bit disappointing, only up by 1.9 percent, and we were hoping for 2.5 percent “
So why do local governments like rising property values ???  Because they take in  greater property tax revenues without having to raise the millage rate is why.
So  who benefits from rising property values beyond  taxing authorities,  and those planning on selling their property.  Not you and I.   I was invested in residential and commercial real estate since before the huge run-up in values starting a decade ago and have rode those values back down over the past ½ dozen years.  For anyone that  did not acquire more real estate, or sell what they I owned  the run-up and run-down neither helped nor harmed ……. beyond the additional  property taxes we all paid.
Those in power in port Orange  sat quietly by and watched the tax coffers  they were going to have to spend grow by leaps and bounds.   AND were those additional taxes at least invested and spent wisely ??
Not unless you consider investments and developer subsidies like Eastport, Riverwalk, the Dock-To-Nowhere, the since closed RCC  and the  $ 20 million reclaimed water boon doggle  to have been  wise investments.  The fact is  un warranted property taxes,  lack of transparency and obfuscated budgeting practices have hosed Port Orange residents of upwards of $100 million dollars.
That may be about to change.
Having declined to implement the Amendment 11 special property tax break  that would have benefited only a small number of near destitute property owners,  Council has I believe  made the far more important  decision to reduce property taxes for all property owners.   Gone  is the Manager’s plan to reward his senior staff with an across the board pay raises    through an increased property tax that would have been masked by the property appraiser bandit in Deland.   At a minimum I believe that Port Orange will be rolling its millage rate back  to a rate such that home owners do not pay more this year simply because the partner in crime property appraiser is again telling us that our property values are increasing.
And it may even get better that that as the City ran a surplus last year equal to almost 30% of the property tax raised in the City.
Come on Council let’s give some property tax relief to the Prop 11ers AND to all other property owners in the City.
Ted Noftall


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