Fort Myers Beach Tax Rolls Explode

14
2

On Monday Lee County Property Appraiser Matt Caldwell released estimated tax roll figures for the 2024 tax year. While all of Lee County will see an overall increase in value of 9.5%, Fort Myers Beach will see a jump in taxable value of 45.36%.

Caldwell tells Beach Talk Radio there were two reasons for the big increase on Fort Myers Beach. The first is the numerous buildings that were damaged by Hurricane Ian (both commercial and residential) that have come back online and are now back in the taxable bucket. The other has to do with property that has been sold and can now be taxed on the full just value of the property this year.

When a property is owned for decades by the same person or same family there’s a cap of 10% on the amount its taxable value can be increased annually. An example Caldwell gives is the Red Coconut property. Being that it was owned by the Myers family for so long, the taxable value could only increase by 10% each year. At the end of their ownership they were only being taxed on about $10 million worth of the main property. Property values on Fort Myers Beach have done nothing but shot up, even immediately after Hurricane Ian. Now, according to Caldwell, Seagate who purchased the 10-acre Red Coconut property from the Myers family, will start out being taxed on an assessment of the property of $35 million. Every property that changed hands, such as the Outrigger, Pete’s Time Out, The Dairy Queen, and others now also fits into that higher taxable bucket.

In 2023 Fort Myers Beach had $2.6 billion worth of property that could be taxed. For reference, before the storm, the total taxable value of properties on Fort Myers Beach in 2022 was $4.5 Billion. Caldwell estimates that number in 2024 to be $3.8 billion. That’s $1.17 billion in taxable property that was not on the books in 2023. The estimated $3.8 billion is what the Fort Myers Beach Town Council will be using to set the ad-valorum rates for the next year.

Another contributing factor to the big increase for Fort Myers Beach is Margaritaville is now on the tax rolls. The resort was not in 2023.

What this will ultimately mean is more ad-valorem tax money to run the town next fiscal year than was produced for this fiscal year. The current tax rate on the beach is .99 of $1,000 of assessed property value. The Town Council is already discussing raising that rate to replenish its depleted reserves.

14 COMMENTS

  1. So, Lee County wants to go back to the old tax rate? Meanwhile the traffic lights at Times Square still don’t work. The pier area is still fenced off, so why should they take another dime! Ripped off for the low taxes in Leigh and Alva! Estero Blvd is driving and dodging the manhole covers!

  2. I think we’re all being a little misled with the exact tax increase if it happens on our real property away from all the numbers and not trying to explain in simpler terms. First are you a resident and a resident over 70, or are you just a homeowner without residency? Residency has its advantages especially now that the storm destroyed your property the actual taxes were cut almost in half without calculating. They can only go up a maximum of 3% according to law and would take years to get them back to pre IAN 18 years approx if your a non resident and actual taxes were reduced similar your taxes will be back to the old IAN much quicker based on property value increase estimates, mileage rate. Your property has no reasonable cap. This is where I think all taxes should have been frozen for 5 years and the island would have been in much better shape than current reduction in taxes for all.

    • Read the article.

      It was a max 10% annual increase because the ownership remained the same. Now that it’s been sold, the taxable value has increased.

  3. I am not sure why the council would look at increasing rates! There are still many properties being repaired and will be back on tax rolls at a higher value in the next year. There are many properties being sold and valued at greater amounts–see the article. Probably should be looking at reducing tax rate!

  4. We are spending so much money on town staff. Just look at how many are sitting in council meetings, doing nothing. And we’re paying for Dan, Frankie and Andy to go to DC, for what no one knows cause there’s never any updates. Plus we are paying for a lobbyist. This town needs to go back to Lee County. Very poorly managed

    • Do you watch the TC meetings or BTR’s Sundays with the Mayor? Those trips to DC (and Tallahassee) result in federal/state funds for FMB.

      And yes, FMB has a lobbyist. Nearly all jurisdictions do.

    • Dan Allers explained what they were doing in DC, going after funds. Also that the lobbyist finds them more funds than he is paid so worth the money.

  5. We are on San Carlos island ..fort Myers beach address. We heard that if you don’t rebuild immediately you loose your exemptions and your tax bill will increase significantly..even though you are the same owner of the property. Is this true? Does anyone know?

  6. And many homesteaded properties, limited by Save Our Homes to 3% increase per year, were destroyed and sold on by long time owners. 45.3% seems huge until you realize we are still 20% below 2022 values.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here