Over the next few weeks, more than 1.75 million homeowners in South Florida will get their property tax notices in the mail, and many could be disappointed by what they find inside.
According to a report in the Miami Herald, property values in the state have declined for the third straight year. This year alone, they fell an additional 13.4 percent from the already-down numbers seen last year. That drop signals a loss of $29 billion in values, just in Miami-Dade County.
"This is the biggest drop we have seen in value in Dade County in I’m not sure how long – definitely more than 35 years,” Pedro Garcia, a local property appraiser, told the paper.
The drop in values has been largely attributed to the increasing numbers of both foreclosures and short sales, as homeowners sought relief from their underwater mortgages. However, many that have stayed in their homes will find that property taxes haven’t fallen at the same rate as the value of their property.
The reason for this is that many counties have huge budget shortfalls which they are scrambling to make up, the report said. In most cases, counties added an extra $1,000 to property taxes to fill these gaps.
In many cases, consumers may feel that they have no option but to abandon their underwater homes, which will only lead to more foreclosures, and in doing so drive down property values even more.