A commercial and residential construction boom that continued into the second year of the pandemic helped push Marion County’s real estate values to an all-time high in 2022, according to a preliminary estimate released Thursday.
The value of local property rose 14.02% to $28.01 billion in 2022, beating the previous high of $24.62 million last year.
The 2022 tally marks the third straight year that Marion County’s tax burden was the highest ever. In 2020, the tax total was $22.55 billion, beating the previous record of $22.35 billion set in 2007, according to the Marion County Real Estate Appraisal Office.
Tax list 2021:Marion’s real estate value hits a record high of $24.62 billion
Tax list 2020:Marion’s real estate value hits a record high of $22.55 billion
Open floodgates:Over 10,000 new people in Marion County in 2 years. How fast can we build new schools?
The preliminary taxable property value is expected to be $3.47 billion more than the final 2021 value. In the past two years combined, the taxable real estate value has increased by $5.46 billion. That’s an increase of 24.21% in two years.
Taxing authorities — such as the school board, district commission, city councils and water districts — will use the final figure to set budgets and set millage rates for their 2022-23 budgets.
The construction boom continues
The school board uses the full value of $28.01 billion to calculate its budget. It uses the higher value because it’s not tied to the additional $25,000 homestead exemption that many homeowners can claim.
In addition, the district is not bound by the 10% annual cap on unoccupied property appreciation.
The value the Marion County Commission uses for its general fund is $24.89 billion (up $2.8 billion year-on-year), up from $22.09 billion in 2021, as the show preliminary data. The county commission’s increase is forecast at 13%.
Since 2013, when the county’s real estate value was $15.36 billion, the value has increased by 82.4%.
Before the onset of the national recession in 2008, an overly inflated market led to a housing bubble. In response, property values crashed.
Before the recession, Marion’s real estate values rose 71.1%, from $13.1 billion in 2005 to $22.35 billion in 2007. After the 2008 recession hit, real estate values plummeted 31.3% % to $15.36 billion in 2013.
Added large ticket items
Cowan said several large commercial projects were completed in 2021 and added to the tax list.
In 2021, $693 million in new construction, remodeling, and additions was added for the 2022 tax list. That’s about the same as in 2021 and more than $500 million on the 2020 tax list, $480 million on the 2019 tax list, and $325 million in 2018.
Officials said the World Equestrian Center was among the leaders in increasing taxable real estate values for the third straight year. Officials said another $40 million will be added to the tax list in 2021 due to the opening of the WEC hotel.
Here are the other big real estate values added in 2021 for the 2022 tax list:
- Highpoint at Stonecrest, an independent assisted living center, $24.5 million;
- Veterans Affairs Community Hospital building, privately owned, $8.7 million;
- Hallmark, $5.6 million;
- Mobile Home Park Golden Ocala, $4.7 million.
The balance of the tax increase, or about $1.86 billion, was due to smaller commercial buildings and rising home values across the county.
Housing growth is exploding
Housing growth remains strong. The median home selling price rose 31.1% in a year, according to the latest figures released by the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors.
Overall, the boom can be attributed to both commercial and private growth. In southwestern Marion County alone, there have been nearly 20,000 homes, apartments and townhomes that have been approved by county and city officials.
The median selling price of an existing single-family home increased from $268,564 in March 2021 to $342,856 in March this year. In March, the median price rose 31.1% year-on-year to $342,856.
In 2007, the Marion County and city governments approved 7,749 housing permits. In 2021 it was almost 5,000.
“So we’re not at the new build level we were back then, because back then, if you could breathe and you had a job, you could get a loan back,” Cowan said. “Well I mean it’s very different now and I think a lot of people are paying cash now too.”
Big increases across the board
All tax districts recorded increases in taxable property values according to the early estimate.
The lowest increase among the 19 control units was 0.26% in the City of Ocala’s Downtown Development District C. In the City of Ocala’s Downtown Development District A, where the Hilton Garden Inn was built and added for 2021, there was an 11.4% increase for the year.
Next to the city’s development districts, Marion Oaks MSTU was the largest increase, up 26.8%.
The data shows that the city of Ocala saw an 11.54% increase in property values overall. The City of Dunnellon saw property values increase 7.8%, while Belleview gained 12.90% and McIntosh 8.57%.
Help needed for inquiry
Before the housing crisis of 2007 and 2008, the Marion County real estate appraisal office had 75 employees.
During the recession, when housing construction all but stopped, that number dropped to under 50 employees. Last year, Cowan only had 55 employees who needed to make appraisals. Cowan said he can only be approved for new employees by the state Department of Revenue.
Cowan said building permits are skyrocketing through Marion County. And while Marion County and the City of Ocala building officials are signing those permits, the real estate appraiser’s office has to go and reassess the values.
Cowan, who has worked for the office for nearly three decades and was elected property appraiser in 2020, said the office was struggling to keep up with demand before the recession. After the recession, construction almost stopped.
“They assume that the average worker who does 20 properties a day is going to be hard to catch up,” Cowan noted. “We can’t just go and add positions. We have to go to the Florida Department of Revenue to request positions, and that doesn’t happen overnight.”
Contact Joe Callahan at 867-4113 or at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews
According to the first estimate, real estate values increased in each of the 19 tax districts. Here is a highlight of the major tax authorities.
Marion Oaks MSTU: 26.8%
Silver Springs Shores MSTU: 11%
Marion County EMS/Fire: 13.87%
Marion County Law Enforcement Agencies: 13.73%
City of McIntosh: 8.57%
Marion County: 13.00%
Marion County Public Schools: 14.02%
Rainbow Lakes Estates/MSTU: 12.06%
City of Dunnellon: 7.8%
City of Reddick: 8.9%
City of Ocala: 11.54%
City of Belleview: 12.90%