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ACROSS THE COUNTY, PROPERTY VALUES HAVE INCREASED EVEN MORE THAN PRELIMINARY FIGURES INDICATED IN JUNE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst provided a sneak peak of the good news at the end of his June 21 budget presentation to the County Commission, but his staff made it official on July 1: County property values are up for 2013 — ranging from a 4.22 percent increase for Sarasota County to about 6.74 percent for the city of North Port. For the county, that means an extra $4.4 million in general fund revenue for the County Commission to consider spending when it meets again on July 10 to set the tentative millage rates for the 2014 fiscal year, according to Steve Botelho, the county's chief financial planning officer. The preliminary countywide values, released in early June, showed an increase of 3.37 percent for the county, Botelho pointed out in a July 1 email to The Sarasota News Leader. The latest news from Furst's office means an extra $931,000 above what was indicated by the June figure, Botelho added. In Sarasota County, the total value of taxable property is $40,791,927,760, compared to $39,129,815,981 in 2012. As of early February, state budget staff had estimated Sarasota County would see an increase of 2.5 percent for 2013. In December 2012, the state projection was for a 0.7 percent rise in property values for this year. EVEN BETTER FINAL NUMBERS Higher property values all across Sarasota County will mean more operating funds for local government boards. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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