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Appraisals & Assessments

The Property Appraiser’s Office is governed by the Florida Constitution, Florida Statutes, and the Rules and Regulations of the Florida Department of Revenue. We are charged with assessing the value of every property in Pinellas County every year, as of the January 1 assessment date, for ad valorem property tax purposes.

As we are charged with establishing the value of every property in the county for ad valorem tax purposes each year, and there are approximately 435,000 real property parcels in the county, it is necessary to use a mass appraisal system. Mass appraisal is different from the independent appraisals most people are familiar with for obtaining mortgages, re financing, or insurance purposes. An independent appraiser typically values only one parcel at a time and selects three to six sales to compare to the property being appraised. In mass appraisal large groups of sales are used to provide value indications for large populations of properties every year. In Pinellas County, we have 21 residential market appraisal areas and 8 condominium areas. Each one of those areas can have hundreds of annual sales.

We consider three approaches to value when preparing the property tax value roll. First, sales of comparable properties that occurred prior to the January 1 assessment date are analyzed, using only sales where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the Sales Comparison Approach and is given considerable weight when valuing residential properties.

The second method, known as the Cost Approach, considers what it would cost, using today’s labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the appraiser estimates how much it has depreciated since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land.

The third method, referred to as the Income Approach, uses market rental rates, vacancy and collection loss allowances, and operating expenses to estimate what an income-producing property should earn. This net operating income is capitalized to estimate value.

Appraisers may reconcile two or more of the value indications (sales comparison, cost, and income) into a final value based on the appropriateness, accuracy, and quantity of market information from the three approaches. The resulting reconciled value is known as the Just/Market value for property tax purposes.