CEPD Apportionment for Beach Renourishment Questionable

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via our email contact form.

Dear Editor,

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District (CEPD) has submitted a tentative apportionment of the costs, and hence taxes, for the much needed beach renourishment. However, that apportionment is based on fallacious economic thinking and creates massive inequities among owners.

In a word, the CEPD believes that the value of many properties on Captiva as determined by the Lee County Tax assessor (2017 tax role) needs to be increased to reflect “recreational benefits”. Those benefits are current and prospective rents. That is fallacious economic thinking, wrong in both theory and practice. Real estate brokers sell, and buyers buy properties based upon their current and prospective rental value. The tax assessor then re-appraises properties based upon those transactions. To increase the just value of a property for “recreational value” is double dipping and in the process discriminates against a broad class of owners.

I have twice asked the CEPD how much current and prospective rental value is in the just value of a property. I have not received an answer. “Just Value” is the term used by the CEPD as the unadjusted value on their work sheet.

The CEPD will hold a meeting on this February 11. I will ask the question again there.

Beach replenishment is vitally important to Captiva. A healthy the beach is the lifeline of our community. However, the costs for a healthy beach need to be apportioned fairly. Because the current (CEPD) proposal relies upon a fallacious methodology, it does not do that.

Much of my career has been concerned with issues of valuation. I have given expert testimony in matters of litigation on valuation. I have taught valuation courses. I have made numerous presentations to boards of directors on matters of valuation, some where legal liability was involved. And, for the past few years until last October, I chaired the Audit Committee of a substantial financial institution with considerable holdings of residential real estate throughout the US and in Florida. Consequently, I feel comfortable in discussing these issues.

Carroll R. Wetzel
President, Captiva Shores Association

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