By Ken Jackson

Staff Writer

For the fifth consecutive year, taxable value estimates in Osceola County have increased, Osceola County Property Appraiser Katrina Scarborough’s office reported last week.

Scarborough submitted taxable value estimates to the county’s taxing authorities, in order for the county to accurately determine the revenue it can use to draw up the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.

Taxable value refers to a percentage of the assessor’s appraisal according to a state-prescribed formula, after any exemptions are removed, such as the assessed value of a home after factoring in its homestead exemption, usually $25,000.

The total taxable base of property in the county, including the cities, Osceola County School Board properties and those of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, South Florida Water Management District and the St. Johns River Management District in Osceola County total about $74.45 billion, about a 7 percent increase from last year.

Valuations are up 7.19 percent for county holdings, 4.98 and 10.56 percent, respectively, in the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud and up 6.89 percent for the School Board’s holdings.

“Our county continues to be one of the fastest growing in the nation, and has the second highest population increase in the state,” Scarborough said, while also noting valuations still haven’t returned to the peak levels from the end of 2006, the peak of the recent real estate market, and that commercial development is still catching up to the rebound that residential values have seen in the last five years.

Those valuations will be the main source of income that drives Osceola County’s budget, which neared $1 billion in 2016-17.

For more information on the valuation process and the Osceola County Property Appraiser’s Office, visit www.property-appraiser.org .