By Zac Anderson for Herald Tribune
Published: Friday, May 22, 2015 at 8:04 p.m.
SARASOTA COUNTY – Property values rose substantially in Sarasota County and every local city in 2015, new data released Friday show, providing further evidence of a strong real estate recovery.
A report from the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office put the increase in taxable values at 7.2 percent for Sarasota County, 6.8 percent for the city of Sarasota, 9.4 percent for North Port, 6.5 percent for Venice and 4.6 percent for Longboat Key.
The increase in Sarasota County’s property values is larger than expected and was greeted with enthusiasm by local officials, who use the data to help with budget planning.
Local governments have relied on increased tax revenue from rising property values to help balance budgets and make up for steep spending cuts during the Great Recession.
“That’s good news for our budget,” Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson said of the property value increase.
Some taxpayers may be less enthused, but so far the relief most homeowners feel about values rising again seems to outweigh any concern about property taxes going up. Local governments have received few complaints about using increased tax revenues to boost spending.
Robinson said she believes that most taxpayers would rather have the county build new parks and make other investments than roll back the property tax rate.
“We’ve been very good stewards of taxpayers’ money,” she said. “I think people want to see some amenities we don’t have right now.”
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