The Town received a letter from FEMA on February 15, 2023, indicating that jurisdictions throughout Lee County can no longer use the Tax Roll Value Letter produced by the Lee County Property Appraiser's office. The Tax Roll Value Letter was produced in October 2022.
The Tax Roll Value Letter has been the basis upon which calculations of FEMA’s 50% rule have been made by the Town in reviewing permit applications for property owners who are rebuilding after Hurricane Ian.
According to FEMA, “a wide disparity” was observed in how building value adjustments have been developed by the Lee County Property Appraiser’s office. Because FEMA cannot determine if the values stated on the Tax Roll Value Letter are acceptable, the Town of Fort Myers Beach is required as of February 15, 2023, to use the “building cost value” on the LEEPA.org website. The building cost value is one of the two building valuation options for determining if a building has exceeded the substantial damage/substantial improvement 50% threshold (i.e. the 50% rule).
What this means for property owners is that building permit applications for properties reviewed on or after February 15, 2023, will be reviewed using the "2022 building cost value" from the Lee County Property Appraiser's website (LEEPA.org.) The building value found on the “Tax Roll Value Letter” that was produced by the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office in October 2022 will no longer be used.
For more information:
- Building Services FAQ (question 57)
- 50% Rule page (question 5)
- FEMA letter February 15, 2023
To ask questions, contact:
- FEMA - Jamie Mascellino at email@example.com or (407) 716-9528
- Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office - (239) 533-6100
Property owners have two available options for determining the 50% rule threshold amount:
Option 1) A private actual cash value (ACV) appraisal of the pre-damaged building value can be obtained by the property owner. This appraisal must show only the value of the building, not the land or other improvements or accessory structures (driveways, fences, sheds, etc.) Submit this appraisal with any building permit application for review.
Option 2) Use the values developed by the Lee County Property Assessor's office for property tax assessment purposes, adjusted to approximate market value. To find this value, first visit the Lee County Property Appraiser’s website. Type your property address into the Site Address line of the Quick Property Search area and hit “Search.”
Click on the “Parcel Details,” link:
On the next screen, click on the calendar icon in the center of the page:
Next, find the “Building Cost Value” in the “2022” column in the lower right corner of the screen:
According to the Town’s floodplain ordinance, this value can be adjusted upwards by 20%. Multiply the value by 1.2 to get the adjusted value. Divide this adjusted value by two to determine the “50% rule” threshold for the building.