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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Hernando County’s taxable value is $7 billion


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Hernando totaled $7 billion in 2013 — better than in recent years but not enough to lift the county completely out of the recession.

George Zoettlein, assistant county administrator of budget and business development, said adding $50 million in new construction boosted property values 1.42 percent above 2012’s total.

In real numbers, that equates to about $643,562 in added revenue for county coffers. While that sounds nice, Zoettlein said, it doesn’t get Hernando County where it needs to be, especially when dealing with a $90 million general fund budget.

“It’s a positive figure,” Zoettlein said. “We basically have turned the corner on the recession but we’ve only turned the corner with our big toe.”

For example, the county’s library system has used up all its grant money this year and is facing a deficit just shy of $800,000, Zoettlein said.

“So this $643,000 wouldn’t even be enough to make up for what the libraries lost in grant funding,” Zoettlein said.

County Property Appraiser John Emerson said this is the first time since 2007 that property values have risen in Hernando. The taxable value then was $11.4 billion.

Emerson said last year there were indications that an upswing in property values was imminent. He was not as surprised to see this year’s numbers.

The $50 million in new construction was pitiful, he said. However, given the new commercial activity in the past year, including the new Cortez Commons at State Road 50 and Mariner Boulevard, that should change for 2014, he said.

“The commercial sector seems to be doing well and those numbers will show up in next year’s new construction value,” he said.

Emerson said he also would like to see a rise in new-home construction.

The good faith estimates released last week will go to all the taxing authorities who will use them to compute their budgets.

The elected constitutional officers’ budgets are due this week. Zoettlein has until July 15 to present a balanced budget to county commissioners.

(352) 544-5290

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