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OPINION COUNTY COMMISSION SHOULD DITCH 'LOW TAX' POSTURING EDITORIAL In 2007, the effects of the Great Recession lowered the boom on local real estate values. Silent phones and empty streets replaced the bidding wars that had broken out in the front yards of houses for sale. Sky-high property values went into a free fall. officials, banks were the principal proselytes of the never-ending upward spiral of real estate values … and the unthinkable was happening. As market values fell, pressure built on the Sarasota County property appraiser to lower taxable values commensurately. While the Banks, which had relentlessly marketed mort- Save Our Homes exemption — which limited gages to anyone and everyone who would increases in taxable value to the lesser of inflation or 3 percent — had spared permanent sit through a pitch, residents much of the suddenly found themburden of the boom in selves with loan portTo simply dismiss out of hand the values, part-time resfolios that far exceeded the market values idea of offsetting a 40 percent decline in idents and commerof the properties that assessed property values by increasing the cial property owners tax rate is a failure to properly serve the began shouldering an secured those loans. citizens of the county. increasingly heavy Even more than the Realtors and tourism burden.

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