Tax base posts first growth since 2006

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 05:05 PM.

After dropping steadily since its 2006 high of $4.1 billion, Franklin County’s tax base will increase next year by about 1 percent, returning it to levels similar to a decade ago.

Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper last week received approval from the Florida Department of Revenue of the certified preliminary taxable value for the county, both government and schools, and the other taxing districts.

These numbers show a slight uptick from the “Good Faith Estimates” filed in June, which were approximations based on the latest data at the time.

Because it is exempt from a 10 percent cap on the taxable value of non-homesteaded property, the school district is the county’s largest taxing district, and is forecast to go from $1.711 billion last year to $1.744 billion, an increase of $33 million, or nearly 2 percent.

The county government tax base is estimated will grow from $1.632 billion to $1.650 billion, a jump of $18 million, or about 1.1 percent. This preliminary value includes the value of about $8.84 million in new construction throughout the county.

The county tax base is slightly smaller than that of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, which will see a rise from $1.634 billion to $1.656 billion, growth of about $22 million, or about 1.3 percent. This is because the county, like the cities of Apalachicola and Carrabelle, offers an exemption for qualifying seniors of $50,000 off the taxable value of their homesteaded property. This is an income-based qualification, which this year meant a couple’s combined income has to be less than $28,000.

In addition, the county offers a veterans exemption, which varies by percentage of disability, to vets and their widows or widowers.

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