Proposed 2007 Broward County Property Taxes

envelopeOver the past few days Broward County property owners have been opening their mailboxes only to find the dreaded “Notice of Proposed 2007 Property Taxes”.  More than a few owners of non-homesteaded properties are angry, to say the least.  I had one out-of-state client whom I sold a house to a few years ago call me yesterday to ask me what they can do to fight their fourth consecutive increase in property taxes… this time of approximately $500 due to a supposed $40,000 gain in assessed value. 

As many of you are aware, it was around late 2005 that the South Florida real estate market stalled and then started becoming a buyer’s market.  Over the past 18-22 months, inventory has drastically increased and market values have fluctuated somewhat during that time period.  To be clear, market value is what a buyer is willing to pay in today’s market, regardless of what similar properties sold for a few months ago. 

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the median* sales price in the greater Fort Lauderdale area in year-end 2005 was $361,100.  A year later, in year-end 2006 it was $367,800 (only a 2% increase).  So, you can imagine why the out-of-state client called in amazement that his assessed value increased considerably more than 2%.  Obviously, they plan on challenging their property assessment.  Anyone wanting to do the same should read the flyer and newsletter that were included in the envelope containing your 2007 notice of proposed property taxes. 

According to the “News for Broward Taxpayers” Summer-Fall 2007 newsletter, “For non-homesteaded property, the assessed value is always identical to the property’s market value as of January 1, 2007. […] In most instances, our market values are determined using a mass-appraisal process based upon multiple sales of comparable properties in the same or similar subdivisions.  BOTTOM LINE: If our market value of your property […] is higher than you believe a buyer would reasonably pay for your property on the open market, either call or email our office or file a value petition by the September 18, 2007 deadline.”  Learn more about how to challenge your 2007 property value assessment and the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) appeals process.

The Broward County Property Appraiser’s main office is located at 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 111, in downtown Fort Lauderdale (just south of Broward Blvd.).  Here are three phone numbers you may find useful:

  • 954-357-6830 for Exemptions and General Info
  • 954-357-6831 for Residential Property Values
  • 954-357-6832 for Condo and Co-Op Values

*Median is the price at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

:: Read all posts tagged with South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – 2007. ::

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Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida

Flamingo Gardens is located in Davie, Florida – the heart of Broward County – and encompasses 60 acres.  This South Florida attraction features a wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens.  Their 25,000 sq. ft. “free-flight” aviary which represents five eco-systems is unlike any other I’ve seen. Throughout the park you can see some of Florida’s native wildlife including flamingos, peacocks (roaming the park freely), birds of prey, alligators, river otters and bobcats.  You can tour the historic Wray home (built in 1933) which was built on one of the highest elevations found in Broward County or meander through trails full of lush gardens that showcase rare exotic and native plants.  Their narrated 25-minute tram tour is worthwhile and takes you through the tropical rainforest, native hammock, wetland areas and groves.

Flamingo Gardens even has a charming wedding gazebo where many have exchanged vows.  In an area just outside the ticketed entrance, Flamingo Gardens also has a nice gift shop with more than the usual tourist-y souvenirs (and includes a well-stocked bookstore), as well as a garden shop with a variety of plants and garden decor to pick from. 

Flamingo Gardens is also well-known locally for its fruit stand which offers freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies, and they’ve been shipping Florida citrus and gift fruit since 1928. 

Whether you are just visiting, new to Broward County or South Florida, or a long-time resident, I highly recommend a visit to Flamingo Gardens… a glimpse into “Old Florida”.

Location: 3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie, FL  |  Phone: 954-473-2955  |  Map

Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida

Whether you’re a resident or visitor to South Florida, you’ll find an abundance of places to go and things to see.  This post marks the beginning of a series titled “Things to do in South Florida“. 

South Florida’s Butterfly World – located in Coconut Creek – has been open since 1988.  This South Florida attraction offers over ten acres of aviaries and botanical gardens to explore.  Butterfly World is also a center for research and education and includes a living butterfly farm.  Other park features include the country’s largest free flight hummingbird aviary and a lorikeet encounter, resulting in the park also having an aviculture care and research staff.  Butterfly World has also been instrumental in saving an endangered species of butterfly that is becoming re-established in South Florida. 

Their website offers a very nice virtual tour of what you can expect to see and do at Butterfly World as well as a beautiful photo-filled butterfly guide and bird guide.  If you’re passionate about butterflies, they even offer a butterfly gardening workshop and a downloadable computer desktop calendar every month.

If you go, be sure to take your camera with you to capture all the colorful butterflies and plants found throughout the park.  The gift shop can be accessed without admission to the park and is full of interesting and unique gifts and books for butterfly and bird enthusiasts.

Location: 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek, FL |  Phone: 954-977-4400 |  Map

The Sewell Lock and Broward County’s Canal System

Sewell LockThe Sewell Lock is one of those sights seen by thousands of drivers along I-595 on a daily basis but mostly goes unnoticed.  It is located on the N. New River Canal near the intersection of Davie Road and S.R. 84 and is part of the canal system run by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).  The Sewell Lock was completed in 1912 and is Broward County’s oldest water control structure. 

waterBroward County’s canal system is all about water management via a complex network of canals and operational infrastructure managed for both drainage and recharge purposes.  Curious?  Learn more about how the water flow system works.  Water management in Broward County is so important that a free half-day “Know the Flow” course has been developed to help Broward County property managers, landscape service providers, as well as Broward County homeowner associations and residents understand what they can do to manage and conserve water resources.

If you happen to be in the area and would like an up-and-close view, there is a small park located immediately next to the Sewell Lock where you can occassionally find people fishing.  There is a plaque at the park that reads:

THE SEWELL LOCK

These gates were restored by the South Florida Water Management District in 1992 as part of the G-54 Sewell Water Control structure replacement project.  The lock has been preserved as a historical site in cooperation with the Broward County Commission, the Broward County Park and Recreation Division, the Broward County Historical Commission and the Green Team.