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In 2024, ad valorem tax revenues in Charlotte County are expected to triple from 2023, Economic Development Director Dave Gammon told county commissioners May 28. 

Using data supplied from Property Appraiser Paul Polk, Gammon showed the tax dollar amounts that commercial developments are contributing to the county. 

In 2023, the ad valorem tax contributed $307,940 based on assessments of $49,893,126 and ad valorem taxes of $785,414. Projected in 2024 is a $935,000 ad valorem tax contribution based on $150 million in assessments and ad valorem taxes of $2.3 million. 

In 2026, when it’s expected that currently planned commercial developments will be completed, Charlotte County’s share of the ad valorem tax is estimated to be $1.8 million, based on a projected $285 million assessed valuation and $4.4 million in ad valorem taxes, Gammon said. 

Over a two-year period from 2021 to 2023, some 50% of land transactions totaling $18 million traded hands in the industrial area surrounding Punta Gorda Airport. 

Making a presentation before the board, Gammon said there was not much activity over a 20-year period at the Airport Commerce Center in Punta Gorda until around 2021 when things began to take off. 

Prior to that, the Commerce Center located on the southeast corner of the airport was largely made up of agricultural or vacant land. 

He pointed out that agricultural use doesnt provide much economic value to the county tax-wise, as grazing land is assessed at $311 an acre, or $.0074 per square foot, while vacant commercial land is appraised at $110,500 per acre, or $2.54 per square foot, and developed commercial buildings, including warehouses, distribution centers, trucking terminals and more, are assessed at $130 per square foot. 

One of his graphics displaying landuse economic data, depicted a cow grazing. “That’s a pretty expensive cow,” he quipped, referring to grazing land’s low economic value to the county. 

Many county officials say the commercial building boom near the airport began with the arrival of food products supplier Cheney Brothers in 2015 when the company opened its distribution center in Punta Gorda, across from the airport off Piper Road. 

Others followed suit, knowing that the Charlotte County hub gave them drivable access to the Miami, Tampa and Orlando markets. 

Gammon showed a slide marked with blue and red areas. On the north side of Piper Road near the airport, there are three massive buildings: Equus Capital Partners 378,000squarefoot spec building, FedEx’s 250,000squarefoot distribution center and Capital Partners’ 139,000squarefoot building, which is still under construction. 

Another graphic shows the entire industrial area dotted with projects that are either under construction or completed. 

Gammon recapped his presentation by stating that throughout 33 land parcels encompassing 320 acres, 19% of the projects have been completed, 43% are in the planning stage or under construction and 38% of the land is vacant. 

He said by 2026, it’s projected that the county will realize a potential capital investment of $311 million. 

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