Fort Myers Beach Tax Rolls Get Hammered


As if you needed any more proof that Fort Myers Beach was ground zero for Hurricane Ian. Lee County Tax Appraiser Matt Caldwell has released the estimated tax roll figures for 2023. Out of all Lee County municipalities, Fort Myers Beach will take the biggest hit.

The total taxable value of properties on Fort Myers Beach in 2022 was $4.5 Billion. In 2023 that number is estimated to be $2.7 Billion, a 40% drop. New taxable construction on Fort Myers Beach in 2022 was $44 Million. New construction is estimated to be $861,000 in 2023.

By comparison, the drop-off on Sanibel is estimated to be down 31%, the City of Fort Myers 12%, Cape Coral 11.5% and Bonita Springs 7%. Lee County is only estimated to be down 5.2%.

What this will ultimately mean is less ad-valorem tax money to run the town and the need to rely more on state and federal financial help to keep the town afloat until homes can be rebuilt and new businesses can be constructed. By all estimates that is years away as residents are just now trying to get permits to rebuild while other property owners are still trying to decide whether to demolish their homes and rebuild or sell their property.



  1. The “new construction” tax estimate is HORRIBLE. Sure I get it, it’s mostly because people haven’t been paid by insurance, some houses are in limbo, refurbish vs razing/rebuilding, but I just can’t even understand of all the homes destroyed… why are there only about 2 dozen new construction permits in the system? This is not good. Estimates are 1000 homes were a 100% loss… and only 2 dozen have decided to start rebuilding?

  2. Listen to this egregious mis-management of resources! The Town has someone driving up and down the streets, taking pictures of houses. This person then goes back to his desk to compare them to the pictures they took just after the hurricane to make sure permits have been pulled for any needed repairs. The problem I have with this is that our house is clearly a home that was built to hurricane code (and he can see this on his computer at his desk) and besides the electric permit, we did not have any damage requiring additional permits. Yet, here again, the Town is wasting our money instead of applying it to fixing the overall permitting process.

  3. “New taxable construction on Fort Myers Beach in 2022 was $44 Million. New construction is estimated to be $861,000 in 2023.” Why so slow? Insurance, planning, designing….sure. But is the permit process the main culprit for this glacial pace of rebuilding?

  4. “Fort Myers Beach Tax Rolls Get Hammered” The city’s permitting and inspection process is a disaster with delays throughout the entire process. There seems to be little or no coordination within the building department. You can have all the pre-inspection (plumbing, electrical, structural) paperwork in hand and still experience significant delays with the final inspection sign-off as the City denies any knowledge of prior inspections. I had to chuckle at the Margaritaville pool bathroom issue story, where the City made them redo the bathrooms after they were approved and built. I’m seeing this type of “Florida shakedown” all over the island, perpetrated by the building department. It’s complete mismanagement and there simply is no excuse! It’s like a 3rd world country. That building department needs be investigated by Lee County OR the State or this will not bode well down the road as these needless delays continue to erode the tax base.

  5. Should any business have to provide housing? Why? Should a business with 5 employees have to have housing? Then why would any business regardless of size provide housing? Unless they choose to do so. Business providing housing is a losing proposition for everyone. Including the so called housed people. At what point do you want a break from your employer. You want them to now control your home life also? This is a dangerous and socialist agenda. Lose your job, lose your home? Who decides what affordable is? They make public transportation available to get to the beach or anywhere else in lee county. Possibly the county looks at those area hit by the hurricane and offer free bus passes to the beach workers.

  6. Let’s look at the Moss Marine proposal.
    3 Hotels of differing price points. I’m thinking that the developers wanting more than the code allows should be required to provide WorkForce housing


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