Collier’s overall property value declined $9 billion or 12 percent in past year

Collier County government: 12 percent decline

City of Naples: 8 percent decline

City of Marco Island: 11.8 pecent decline

Everglades City: 27 percent decline

— Collier County’s taxable property values declined by just more than 12 percent during 2009, a larger decline than last year’s 11 percent, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by the Collier County Property Appraiser’s office.

Kevin Lilly, director of tax roll compliance with the appraiser’s office, said officials at the county’s various government agencies were more expecting of the decrease this year.

Taxable values dropped by almost $9 billion -- from nearly $70 billion in 2009 to an estimated $61.2 billion this year.

The taxable values are used in place of final estimates, which will arrive July 1, in government agencies’ drive to get their budgets put together for the next fiscal year. Between now and then, budget cuts and tax rates will be discussed, budgets will be drafted, and finalized plans will be approved by elected officials at each of the county’s government agencies.

Officials were hoping the figures would be better, given positive economic indicators during 2010, but as the values reflect 2009 activity, this wasn’t the case, Lilly said.

“I think some of the taxing authorities were kind of prepared for a worst-case scenario, and maybe we came in about what some of them were preparing for,” Lilly said, noting that last year’s decline was far less expected.

Some of the largest declines occurred in taxing districts with the lowest total property value, according to the preliminary figures.

Everglades City saw a 27 percent decline over last year, from $121 million to $87.9 million. The Big Corkscrew Fire Rescue District saw a nearly 33 percent decline.

While Big Corkscrew saw a similar decline last year, of 32.6 percent, Everglades City saw only a 12 percent decline last year. Officials with either agency weren’t available for reaction late Thursday.

Countywide, the estimated value of taxable property went from $70 billion in 2009 to $61.2 billion. The value of new construction during the year was $640 million, down from $1 billion a year earlier.

Marco Island saw a decline in its total property value of 11.8 percent, from $9.2 billion to $8.1 billion.

Naples saw a decline of 8 percent, from $16.2 billion to $14.9 billion.

“I had my mind set on 7 percent decrease in values, so 8.3 percent decrease is worse than I expected,” said Ann Marie Ricardi, city of Naples finance director. “My dad always tells me to hope for the best, prepare for the worst and expect something in between. This is what I would consider ‘something in between.’”

Ken Wilkinson, Lee County’s property appraiser, said he would release Lee’s preliminary values Tuesday. He said he expected the decline to be in the “mid-teens,” better than last year’s 23 percent decline.

Wilkinson said there was basically no new construction in 2009.

“That’s going to be a big reason why the overall percentage is still down,” Wilkinson said.

Other preliminary Collier County tax district value decreases included the East Naples Fire Rescue, which was down just over 15 percent, North Naples Fire Rescue, which was down 8.8 percent and Immokalee Fire Rescue, which was down just over 9 percent.

Year -- Collier taxable Value -- Annual change.

2010 Est. $61.2 billion -12%

2009 Final $69,976,749,096.00 -11.04%

2008 Final $78,662,966,910.00 -4.70%

2007 Final $82,542,090,227.00 7.14%

2006 Final $77,037,903,134.00 25.38%

2005 Final $61,441,821,529.00 19.86%

2004 Final $51,262,812,810.00 11.48%

2003 Final $45,985,727,314.00 16.45%

2002 Final $39,490,423,314.00 18.25%

2001 Final $33,395,002,460.00 20.38%

2000 Final $27,742,021,485.00 13.59%

1999 Final $24,422,201,235.00 14.43%

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