Homeowners in Lee County hit with increased property tax bills

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
TRIM notices are causing sticker shock in Southwest Florida. (CREDIT: WINK News)

If you got a TRIM notice and you aren’t homesteaded, you might be getting priced out of home ownership.

Although the market value of your home going up is exciting, there is a price you have to pay for that.

It means your property taxes could go up dramatically.

It’s a consequence of the housing boom.

It’s not a good thing for Melvin and Cynthia Williams, who live in Cape Coral.

Their appraisal soared by nearly $170,000 in the last year.

“My first reaction was, how am I going to pay for this,” Melvin said. “With this drastic increase in home values, it’s pushed our stuff, that we are looking at possibly as much as 200 bucks a month extra.”

The Williamses are full-time residents, but they told WINK News they do not have a homestead exemption, so no $50,000 exemption from the assessed value of their home and no 3% save our home caps on property assessment increases. According to Lee County’s property tax office, the Williamses do have a homestead exemption.

Melvin and Cynthia Williams say they will have to cut costs to afford their property taxes. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“We’re going to be forced to do things like we’re cutting the cable with Dish. I’ma pick up the phone and call Dish and say I’m sorry. I don’t need you anymore,” Melvin said.

Adrienne Trimarchi has the homestead exemption, and she still faces a huge property tax bill.

The assessment on her home soared well over $100,000 in the last year.

“I myself can, you know, retire in a few years, and this is where I choose to be able to do that. So I mean, you know, in, in not too many years, I’ll be on that same fixed income, you know, and bills that have been going up like crazy, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to swallow, it’s just one more thing,” Trimarchi said.

You can appeal the assessed value of your home.

That doesn’t mean the property appraiser will reduce the assessed value of your home, but they will review it.

Lee County Property Appraiser Matt Caldwell knows nobody loves to hear their property taxes are going up. But after seeing the housing market boom during the pandemic, he knew it was inevitable.

“The just value went up; that’s the biggest number without any adjustments for exemptions or classifications. And that went up about 35%,” Caldwell said.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.