If You Still Have Damaged Property, You Could Knock Hundreds of Dollars Off 2017 Tax Bill
FlaglerLive | January 12, 2017
Note: property owners who wish to ensure that their properties are re-assessed in light of lost assets as of Jan. 1 should call the property appraiser at 313-4150.
Flagler County Property Appraiser Jay Gardner wants county and city residents to know that they could knock money off their tax bill if they still have property damage from Hurricane Matthew, which struck the region last October.
Most people fixed their homes in the weeks and months after the storm, replacing what was lost—roofs, fences, screened-in porches or pool areas, and so on. And property assessors visited all houses and businesses with major damage. But there may still be hundreds of property owners who have lingering damage, or whose properties have lost assets, but who could still be taxed on those losses because property assessors have not been informed about the losses. That’s the property owners Gardner wants to hear from. (Call 313-4150 to let him know.)
Gardner points to one actual homeowner who lost a screen cage as an example. Gardner noticed the lost cage because it’s a neighbor. But had Gardner not seen it, that property owner “is going to pay tax on a $10,000 screen cage that he doesn’t need to be paying on,” Gardner said. That works out to a significant amount of money: a home that’s lost a $10,000 asset in Palm Coast means that the tax bill should fall by $200.
“We don’t want to over-assess people,” Gardner said.
That goes for any assets that are still damaged or have been removed and not replaced, past Jan. 1. The property appraiser’s office does not need to hear from property owners who have fixed and replaced all there was to replace. “Those don’t count, so I’ve got to make sure people don’t call me because they have a hole in their screen from October that they fixed,” Gardner said, “because if they fixed, it doesn’t matter.”
Those assessments are set as of January 1, 2017, with the assessment to be reflected in tax bills that go out in November. That’s why anything not yet repaired or replaced amounts to a tax break for property owners. Anything that’s repaired or replaced during the course of 2017 will be assessed next year and billed in November 2018.
That goes for all properties in the county and its cities, including Flagler Beach, Bunnell, Palm Coast, Beverly Beach and Marineland.
The property appraiser’s office generally has a March deadline for owners settling their tax status, but Gardner said his office will work with property owners as much as possible even past that deadline to ensure that the correct assessments are carried out. Still, he stressed, it’s up to property owners to call his office and request a visit from an assessor.
Owners may call the property appraiser at 313-4150 to schedule a visit.