Meet the Canadian Snowbirds’ newest Association member, Tony Smith who is based in St Petersburg Fl, and a local real estate agent and publisher of St Pete Talk, a real estate blog. He has joined the Canadian Snowbird Association to educate snowbirds on their economic impact in the Pinellas County, Fl real estate market over the previous decades, and St Pete Talk answers the question ‘when does the Canadian border open’?
During the pandemic, Tony quickly understood the annual snowbird economy St Petersburg has become financially dependent upon since the 1980s would be altered due to snowbirds not returning to Florida until at the least the Winter 2021. Through research he discovered that Canadians including snowbirds remit annual property taxes owed in Pinellas County Fl where Canadians owe a staggering $19 million USD in property taxes.
When will the Canadian Border Open in 2021?
Members of the Canadian Snowbird Association will be the first to know when the Canadian border will open to residents with eased travel restrictions. The Public Health Agency of Canada has updated its travel policy to allow Canadian residents to re-enter Canada with eased restrictions on July 5, 2021. Canadian snowbirds who have been locked have been anxiously waiting for the border to re-open and allow snowbirds to travel to Florida and be able to return to Canadian without restrictions this July.
Understanding the 'Snowbird' effect on Pinellas County Real Estate
Since the 1970s Canadian snowbirds have provided an annual economic burst every winter like clockwork to local Florida communities and that economic pattern has not been disrupted for over 40 years, not even 9/11 or the 2008 real estate market crash deterred Canadian snowbirds from coming to Florida. Thankfully, the snowbirds have just kept coming year after year.
Finally, it took a global pandemic to discover the economic power punch from snowbirds who support Florida communities not just by eating at local restaurants, retail spending, and everyday living expenses; their power punch comes from their residential and commercial real estate holdings and the annual payment of property taxes Canadian snowbirds remit annually.
The Pinellas County, Fl area enjoys a significant amount of Canadian snowbird traffic annually and the snowbird effect extends into real holdings by Canadians totally nearly $1 billion USD in residential and commercial properties.
The Canadian Snowbird Association's motto:
Formed in 1992, with offices in Lakeland, Fl just outside Tampa the Canadian Snowbird Association and its members have adopted the motto ‘dedicated to defending and improving the rights and privileges of traveling Canadians‘ through networking. Their motto also includes supporting association members with relevant news regarding their economic impact in Pinellas County Fl.
Being the newest member of the snowbird association, St Pete Talk joined the association to educate snowbirds about their rights and privileges related to real estate in St Petersburg, Fl specifically with Canadian property owners in mind.
Pinellas County Real Estate Taxes owed by Canadian Snowbirds annually
Local real estate expert Tony Smith researched that Canadian snowbirds pay a mind-blowing $19 million USD dollars in Pinellas County property taxes annually according to the recent Pinellas County auditor’s report which outlines the Top 10 taxpayers throughout Pinellas County, Fl.
- Canadians, including snowbirds, own approximately $1 billion USD in real estate holdings throughout Pinellas County, Fl which includes:
- beachfront condominiums
- single-family homes and commercial property for a combined $1 billion dollars in “just market value” according to Pinellas County, Fl records.
Their combined real estate tax portfolio for Canadian property owners generates a tax bill of $19 million USD owed by snowbirds and other Canadians and regardless of the pandemic this past year Canadian snowbirds were obligated to pay their property taxes. Not even a pandemic excuses snowbirds from tax payments.
Canadian snowbirds Returning to Fl
The snowbird effect in Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area is undeniable and with an influx of Canadians annually from October to April every year since 1970s, it’s no wonder so many Florida communities have become Canadian-friendly to snowbirds. Snowbirds returning to Florida this winter to enjoy their beachfront condominiums here is what to look for:
- Change the batteries in smoke detectors
- Check all windows and doors
- Change the A/C filter
- Change the water-filter in refrigerator
- Confirm all utilities are paid and current
- Support local business owners; avoid the big chains
- Mask-up in public; do not assume others have been vaccinated
The year 2020, is likely a year that none of us will forget. Being a local resident in St Petersburg, Fl I saw firsthand how the snowbird economy Florida has become so dependent upon would be forever altered. Welcome back snowbirds.