Collier County’s property tax rate will remain the same this year giving homeowners whose property values dropped a smaller tax bill.
Commissioners on Thursday evening approved a $315 million general fund budget, of which about two-thirds is funded from property taxes, and a total budget of $864.8 million.
The coming budget year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2011, is the fourth in which property values dropped.
Commission Chairman Fred Coyle, after the budget passed 5-0, thanked staff for their work and delivered a message to some constituents: For all those who will get a tax reduction, it’s because of county staff members who have worked very hard to trim government spending, he said.
The 2011 property tax rate is $3.5645 for every $1,000 in property value, the same as in 2010.
For example, a home valued at $100,000 last year paid $356 in property taxes. If the same home’s value declined at the average rate seen across the county, 11.6 percent, that property would be valued at $88,400 with a property tax bill of about $315 next year.
That’s a $41 savings in this example, but some homes may have declined more or less or even gained value, changing the amount paid to the county.
Had the county implemented the so-called roll back rate, the rate at which Collier would collect the same amount of money as in 2010, the property tax rate would have increased to $4.09 for every $1,000 of value.
Property values, which were assessed from last January, lost about $9 billion, or 11.6 percent, dropping to $61.8 billion compared with nearly $70 billion last year.
So with the housing market still struggling in 2010, prospects for further decline in the 2012 budget year are strong, said budget director Mark Isackson.
“I suspect there’s still some lag or carryover but how much I can’t speculate,” he said.
The county had anticipated a 10 percent drop for this year and were faced with 11.6 percent.
The total budget declined 7.4 percent, or about $70 million, from last year’s $934 million.
Collier County has already imposed layoffs and vacant jobs have been eliminated, totalling about 70 full-time positions. So for 2011, no new cuts were expected. Other reductions and savings were implemented this year, such as about $23 million from capital projects and $6 million savings in loan refinancing.
The budget was also $10 million less than previously proposed because two water impact and sewer loans the county anticipated taking out will not be needed and one loan was decreased by $1.3 million.
Connect with Tara E. McLaughlin at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tara-mclaughlin/.