We believe the best indicator of the value of the property were the sales of comparable parcels in River Ranch Acres and that these were properly considered by the property appraiser to be comparable sales. Coleman put it, "I think that in any circumstance we can't discount the fact that people are paying money for the property.And as long as they are paying money for the property, it must have some value.He took the Polk County Wetlands Ordinance into consideration.This ordinance prohibits development of more than ten percent of wetlands area.He also considered a Polk County ordinance which prohibited the issuance of a building permit for a lot not on a public road. The property appraiser presented Edwin Coleman as his witness.Coleman is the supervisor of the Real Estate Department of the Polk County Property Appraiser's Office.
He said that recent sales to in-state owners show a price of around 0 per acre from which was deducted realtor's fees and costs of sale, reducing the figure to 6 per acre.Thus, in the view of the trial judge, the Trust was limited to a sale in bulk.Section 193.011, Florida Statutes (1983), lists the factors which a property appraiser is to take into consideration in arriving at just valuation for ad valorem tax purposes. Coleman of the Property Appraiser's Office testified in a conclusory way that all of the statutory factors were considered in arriving at the assessed value of the appellees' land.Coleman confirmed that the assessment value of 0 per acre was based on these sales, which he viewed as comparable.Both Morse and Coleman agreed that the highest and best use of the property was recreational, including hunting, fishing and camping.
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It was for this reason, according to Coleman's testimony, that he did not take into consideration the County building ordinance or the wetlands ordinance.