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Region's property tax dollars go far — for some counties

Lee County ranks high on a property tax index.

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  • | 8:19 a.m. August 14, 2020
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Economic development officials often talk about how, when luring businesses to move to a city or town, to not overlook the importance of a top school district combined with rising property values. Together, those metrics can show where property tax dollars go the furthest.

By that measure, four counties on Florida’s west coast get high grades, according to a new report from data analytics firm SmartAsset. The firm’s report created a property tax index, studying a county’s property taxes, school rankings and changes in property values over a five-year period. Lee, Sarasota, Manatee and Collier counties all made the top 10. With a 62.85 property tax index, Walton County, the study found, was No. 1. The Florida Panhandle county barely edged out Lee County, which posted an index of 62.38.

To calculate a per capita property tax for each county, the study analyzed the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate in each county. To measure school quality, the study analyzed math and reading/language arts proficiencies for each school district, weighting it to account for the number of students per school. Each county was then compared to all districts statewide and given a score between 1 and 10, with 10 the highest. The third metric was the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period, to show home value growth. Those three criteria were used to find property tax index.



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