Rising home values often means higher tax bills

  • 0

SARASOTA COUNTY - Another sign the recession is over on the Suncoast, as property values are up across the region. And if the tax rate stays the same, that means your tax bill will be higher.

Sarasota resident Rich Swier is disappointed most governments aren't bringing down the tax rate, instead taking in millions more dollars in tax revenue. "You're making seniors decide whether or not they're going to pay their food or buy food or prescription drugs," he said.

But Sarasota commissioner Susan Chapman says it's finally time for the city to restore services. "What we've done over the past few years is reduce services, hoping the long-term recession would end, but it didn't end," Chapman said.

However, Swier suggests the government gets involved in too many services, when all it really should handle are property rights issues, as well as police and fire protection.

Chapman says, "people don't want to live in a city of our quality with no services such as landscaping, park maintenance, sidewalk maintenance."

So while the role of government and the amount of taxes required is debated, the tax notices for this year are already in the mail.

Sarasota County alone sent out 300,000 trim notices. Trim stands for Florida's "Truth In Millage" law.