Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty released the 2019 estimates of taxable values June 1. Increases are evident in every category except tangible personal property.

During a budget information session on May 9, Twitty told Pinellas County commissioners that taxable values were on target to reach a pre-recession high set in 2007 of $80 billion. According to the estimates, 2019 values exceed $85 billion.

Higher taxable values for real property, which is land and buildings, is good news for government agencies working to prepare budgets for fiscal year 2020. Higher taxable values mean more money for local governments’ coffers.

Twitty will certify the preliminary tax roll on July 1.

Property taxes pay for much of governments’ operations and services. Annual property tax bills are calculated using the millage rates from the different taxing authorities and applying them to the property value minus homestead and other exemptions.

Property owners with increased real property values will likely have larger tax bills next year even if millage rates stay the same. Some areas of the county will see bigger increases in tax bills than others.

All taxing authorities must notify the property appraiser of tentative millage rates by Aug. 2 so Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices can be prepared for an Aug. 20 mail out to all property owners. After that date, rates may be lowered before final approval, but they cannot be raised.

Residents can look up their property values on the property appraiser’s website, www.pcpao.org. Click on the Search Our Database link.

The county is the taxing authority and approves the countywide millage rate (General Fund), as well as the rate for Emergency Medical Services, Municipal Services Taxing Unit and the Health Department. The county approves rates for East Lake library and recreation services, Feather Sound community services and Palm Harbor community services. The county also approves millage rates submitted from the independent fire districts.

The property appraiser’s estimate shows that the county’s General Fund budget will benefit from a 7.55% boost in total taxable values. The dollar value of the increase is nearly $6 billion compared to the current year and includes an 8% gain in real property tax value. Total taxable values include real property, new construction and tangible personal property.

Municipal Services Taxing District estimates show a 6% increase in taxable values with a dollar value of nearly $1.2 billion.

Other taxing authorities include the School District, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, Pinellas Park Water Management District, Pinellas Planning Council, Juvenile Welfare Board, Southwest Florida Water Management District and Clearwater Downtown Development.

The School District has a 7.21% increase in total taxable values compared to 2018, which equals more than $6.2 billion. Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has an 8% increase, which equates to a $5.5 billion in dollar value.

Municipal estimates

Dunedin leads the county with an estimated 10.95% increase in real property tax value and 10.75% increase in total taxable value over last year. St. Petersburg came in second with 10.29% increase in real property tax value and 9.64% in total taxable value.

All the county’s municipalities had jumps in taxable values. Estimated increases are as follows. Total taxable value includes real property, tangible property and new construction. Note: In many cases taxable values for tangible personal property decreased.

• Gulfport — 9.41% real property, 9.28% total taxable.

• Belleair — 8.85% real property, 8.96% total taxable.

• Largo — 8.81% real property, 8.11% total taxable.

• Seminole — 8.64% real property, 8.39% total taxable.

• Oldsmar — 8.41% real property, 8.20% total taxable.

• Kenneth City — 8.26% real property, 7.88% total taxable.

• Treasure Island — 8.01% real property, 7.91% total taxable.

• Belleair Shore — 7.46% real property, 7.44% total taxable.

• Pinellas Park — 7.32% real property, 7.46% total taxable.

• Redington Beach — 7.28% real property, 5.94% total taxable.

• Clearwater — 7.26% real property, 6.83% total taxable.

• Indian Shores — 7.24% real property, 7.19% total taxable.

• Indian Rocks Beach — 7.22% real property, 7.06% total taxable.

• St. Pete Beach — 6.83% real property, 6.69% total taxable.

• Tarpon Springs — 6.75% real property, 6.48% total taxable.

• South Pasadena — 6.72% real property, 5.68% total taxable.

• Belleair Bluffs — 6.57% real property, 6.22% total taxable.

• North Redington Beach — 6.26% real property, 6.20% total taxable.

• Madeira Beach — 5.95% real property, 5.81% total taxable.

• Safety Harbor — 5.49% real property, 5.39% total taxable.

• Belleair Beach — 4.86% real property, 4.81% total taxable.

• Redington Shores — 2.43% real property, 2.25% total taxable.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.