MARTIN COUNTY — The taxable value of property in unincorporated Martin County and four of its municipalities increased this year, with the jumps ranging from 2.7% to 9.7%.
Only one saw values decline, according to the Property Appraiser's Office.
Indiantown’s taxable value decreased by 3.3%, according to the preliminary tax roll. Florida Power & Light Co., which makes up 90% of the village’s tax base, closed its coal-burning plant last year, creating the loss in taxable value, said Karl Andersson, chief deputy of the Property Appraiser's Office. Indiantown's early estimated tax valuation is about $2 billion.
The estimated values, which by law must be released by June 1, will be updated July 1, and will be the basis for county, school and local officials to set property-tax rates during the summer budget meetings. The 2021-22 budget year begins Oct. 1.
Martin County’s total taxable value increased by 4.4%, to $24.9 billion, compared to its final numbers from last year. Ocean Breeze, with the smallest taxable value in the county, saw the largest increase: 9.7% to $47.8 million. Stuart's taxable value grew by 6.2%, to $2.3 billion.
Sewall's Point taxable value grew by 2.7% to $735.6 million; Jupiter Island's grew by 3.8% to $2.7 billion.
“Most of this increase is not from new construction. I think most of it is just from the market appreciation,” Andersson said of the county’s increase.
The impacts of COVID-19, especially on commercial properties, was “hit-or-miss,” he added. Values for the hotel industry, though, were notably hit-hard by the pandemic.
“A lot of restaurants didn’t do very well,' Andersson said. "Fast-food restaurants did… it really depended on the tenants of the commercial businesses on whether that commercial real estate was hit hard by COVID or not."
The pandemic at a macro level didn’t trigger negative outcomes on the county’s taxable values, he said. The residential market for single-family homes is strong, but from the lens of the Property Appraiser’s Office, it’s difficult to credit COVID-19 for driving the market’s booming condition.
“I can’t say if it’s a spike yet or not because it all depends on if it continues or if it comes back down," he said. "Hopefully, it kind of levels off, because it is kind of getting to the area of increasing very quickly. You start to question how sustainable that can be."