FORT MYERS, FLA. (June 2, 2023) – Lee County Clerk Kevin Karnes has released his second annual report detailing key economic factors impacting county residents. In the 20-page report, titled The Sand Dollar, readers can learn how their tax dollars were collected, managed and spent.
The easy-to-read guide also outlines trends in county property taxes, housing, employment, and major construction projects impacting residents. Information about tourism revenue, investments and debt are also featured.
“As your Comptroller, I encourage all taxpayers to pick up or download this award-winning report,” Karnes said. “It has valuable data on Lee County’s economic and fiscal health, which has a profound effect on all of our personal bottom lines.”
Highlights of this year’s The Sand Dollar include:
- Lee County is home to one of the fastest-growing populations in the country, increasing by 25.7% since 2013.
- Tourism employs one out of every five people with an estimated five million visitors annually generating $3 billion in economic impact. A record $66.8 million in bed tax was collected.
- Unemployment dropped to its lowest point in five years, hitting 2.6%.
- The median single-family home sales price increased 16% over the last fiscal year while total home sales decreased by 14%.
- Impact fees grew to $38,548,077. Impact fees ensure that new developments help pay for the increased transportation, parks, schools, fire protection and emergency medical services that are needed by that development.
Hardcopies of the report are available at all county libraries and the Clerk’s offices. You can also download the report at www.leeclerk.org/thesanddollar.
This issue of The Sand Dollar is based on fiscal year 2022, which began on Oct. 1, 2021, and ended on Sept. 30, 2022. Most of the financial impact resulting from Hurricane Ian is not reflected in this issue.
The Sand Dollar is issued annually by the Lee Clerk’s office, which is constitutionally responsible for managing and auditing all county funds. The shortened reports are a best practice in county government and are modeled after the in-depth Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, which has earned the Clerk’s office 37 consecutive national awards.
For more information about county finances and the financial reports available from the Clerk’s office, visit www.leeclerk.org/finances.
ABOUT THE CLERK’S OFFICE:
The Florida Constitution established the Clerk of the Circuit Court as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Kevin Karnes is directly elected by and accountable to Lee County residents. In addition to the role of Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Clerk is the County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, and the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Lee County.