Sunday, June 8, 2008

Someone ought to tell tax man that housing boom's over

A column from Friday's St. Petersburg Times:
Times Staff Writer
In print: Friday, June 6, 2008

When home sales were blazing three years ago, property values soared on the blast of hot air. These days, with sales as cool as Dick Cheney at an Osama bin Laden rally, values are thunking back to earth.

Unless you're Juan Lopez, resident of St. Petersburg's Allendale Terrace neighborhood.
At the height of the housing boom in December 2005, Lopez and his wife, Joyce, paid $250,000 for a rough-around-the-edges 904-square-foot house near 36th Avenue N and Seventh Street. It was built in 1941 and suffered from renter's rot. A new appraisal values the home at $237,000.

Try telling that to Pinellas County. The property appraiser's office values the house at nearly $300,000 and taxed the Lopezes $5,600. Here's the twist: The county admits his house is nearly worthless, but claims his land alone would sell for $300,000.

Full Article

The article does not tell the entire story. The Just Value of the Lopez property increased by 32.75% between 2006 and 2007. What is interesting is the increase in Just Value for the residence to west was just 26.17% and the residence to the east increased by only 12.33%!

Three residences, all on the same block, all built between 1940 and 1941, each of wood frame construction and between 904 and 987 sq.ft. of base area. How is it that the rate of appreciation (there was appreciation between 2006 and 2007?) ranges from 12.33% to 32.75%.

It's clear that the time in NOW to elect a Professional as Pinellas County Property Appraiser.