This morning’s local edition of the Sarasota Herald Tribune featured a column by Eric Ernst with the headline "Tenants Will Pay for Higher Tax Bills".

Owners of real estate interests in Florida received their annual TRIM ("Truth in Millage") notices last month.  While a TRIM notice is not the actual real estate tax bill,  the notice lets an owner know what value the county appraiser places on his or her property.

In Sarasota County, there was an overall decrease of approximately one per cent in property values and most owners of real estate in Sarasota County may not see much of an increase (if any) in their tax bills this year.

However, mobile home owners who rent lots in Sarasota County’s investor-owned manufactured housing communities may have to bear the brunt of real estate tax bills to be sent to their park owners that may be over sixty per cent more than last year’s.

Here are the increases as shown in the TRIM notices for several of the investor-owned parks mentioned in the story:

  • One park in Venice showed an increase in estimated land value of almost 22 per cent per lot
  • Two others in Venice showed per lot increases of almost 55 and 66 per cent
  • The TRIM notice for a park in Sarasota increased the value for real estate tax purposes by almost 67 per cent

The article describes the rationale for the substantial increases in value of these parks and briefly discusses the difficulties that any park owner or home owner will face in appealing the property appraiser’s decisions.

Members of resident-owned communities can take comfort in the following paragraph from this story:

"We’re not talking about the parks in which residents own home and the land under them.  The value of these properties has mirrored that of single-family home in the eyes of the county appraiser."

My understanding is that at least one other county in our state has taken an approach with its TRIM notices this year similar to Sarasota County’s.

Just one more reason for ROC members to be happy with their decision to be part of their community’s "ownership group"!

I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend and that you and you escaped our brush with Isaac with little or no damage.