Big homes mean big business for Pinellas County - FOX 13 News

Big homes mean big business for Pinellas County

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Building along the beach is a good sign for Pinellas County because waterfront property brings in big dollars in property taxes, and we all know how important that money is for local governments.

"It's good when you add high value property to the county," said property appraiser Pam Dubov. "Property taxes are a big part of maintaining public services."

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard is building a big waterfront mansion in the small town of Belleaire Shore.

"I think it's pretty grand," said Kari Carter. "It could be a hotel." 

Carter and her husband Vadim have watched construction for the past year and a half.

"It's pretty incredible," said Vadim, as he marveled at the size of the house. "I wouldn't want to pay the property tax for that house." 

How much will the tax be for the residence when it's finished? Public records indicate the land is valued at just over $3 million and the construction loan is for $4.5 million.

If the assessed value was $7.5 million, the property tax would be $120,000 a year, but Dubov said it certainly could top that number.

"My expectation is once it's done the house would be worth more than that permit," says Dubuv. "The plans, I believe, call for a lazy river, a bowling alley, a trophy room."

Remember basketball star Matt Geiger's house in northern Pinellas County, or Hulk Hogan's in Belleair?

Both were on the market during the housing boom – listed for more than $20 million each. Had somebody paid that much, the annual tax bill would have been $324,000 for each house. 

Both ended up selling for less than $10 million when the housing market went south. Exactly how much will Ryan Howard's be worth when it's finished? Dubov said the answer is complicated.

"It's not like going to the house where you or I live and running a tape measure around the house to measure. It's a unique property and that makes it hard to value," he said.

It appears the house will be finished sometime next year.

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