CHIPLEY - Washington County Property Appraiser Gil Carter recently certified the preliminary property tax roll, and the county's overall taxable value is preliminarily listed at $813,482,973 - down 3.23 percent from last year.
Carter says many factors can impact values, but this year's decrease is a standard deprecation in set value based on sales.
"Taxable values are down because the market is down right now," said Carter.
2014 values are based on the previous year's sales and do not reflect any sales or property improvements after December 31, 2013.
While values have decreased, it's too early to tell if property owners can look for a 3 percent drop in their tax bill as well.
The values have been submitted to the Florida Department of Revenue, as well as the local taxing authorities, which include the Board of County Commissioners, district school board, Northwest Florida Water Management (NFWMD), City of Chipley, and City of Vernon.
Those taxing authorities will soon set their millage rates so the appraiser's office can apply the numbers to the values to determine final bills.
The millage rate trend hasn't changed much over the past five years, however. NFWMD and the City of Chipley's millage rates have remained unchanged in that time at .0450 and 6.0000, respectively, while the Board of County Commissioners haven't hiked their current rate since increasing it from 8.6185 to 8.9195 in 2010.
The Washington County School Board has had the most fluctuation, most recently decreasing their millage to 7.5380 in 2013. The district's millage rates in previous years were: 7.9750 in 2012; 8.0270 in 2011; 7.7840 in 2010 and 7.7810 in 2009.
Each "mill" levied will raise $1 for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value.
"I encourage everyone to take a close look at their Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice," said Carter. "Property owners only have 25 days to appeal anything they believe to be inaccurate."
About 45,000 notices are expected to be sent out around the second week in August.
For more information on how property is assessed, contact the Washington County Property Appraiser's office at 638-6205.