Property values on Fort Myers Beach are up nearly 50%

Reporter: Amy Galo
Published: Updated:

Fort Myers Beach, the area hardest hit by Hurricane Ian, has seen property values skyrocket by nearly 50%.

The final tax roll for 2024 for Lee County shows a 47.99% jump, which Mayor Dan Allers told WINK News is exciting news.

It’s a reflection of the island’s recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian.

“Every street on the island has a house that’s either been erected or is being erected, with many more permits in place to go to build,” said Mayor Allers.

This amount of growth reflects itself in property values. They’ve increased nearly 50%, which is much higher than the county average of a 5.86% increase.

“We were obviously excited to see that number, it gets us closer back to where we were before the storm,” said Allers. “We’re still not all the way there yet, but it’s a testament to our aggressive (attitude) in getting people in their houses with their permits and getting businesses back open.”

James Hotka is one of many rebuilding his home on the island.

“Ian took a toll on us,” Hotka said. “We had actually five properties. Four of them had houses, all four of the houses were gone, and the commercial lot that we had lost value.”

Yet, Hotka’s paying more in taxes now and his empty lots, where houses once stood, are worth more too.

“We have a lot that it’s assessed for $500,000 more than we paid for it with a 4000 square foot home on it,” said Hotka.

This situation can be discouraging, or even impossible, or some.

“I’m grateful that, obviously, we survived,” said Hotka. “We have the money to rebuild, and a lot of people don’t.”

It’s what Mayor Dan Allers describes as a double-edged sword.

“You’re starting to see some of those values come back,” said Allers. “But on the other hand, when the values come back, and they go up, you’re going to be paying more on your taxes.”

Once the proposed tax rates are set, the Property Appraiser’s Office will send out individual notices of proposed property taxes (TRIM notices) in mid-August.

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