2009 Legislative Delegation





Gregory S. Brown, CFA

Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser





2009 Legislative Delegation Proposals:

1.)    Recapture Rule

a.      Bill being introduced by Rep. Ford and co-sponsored by Rep. Evers.

b.      This bill would allow the property appraiser to follow the Save Our Homes recapture rule when property values increase by 3% or the CPI whichever is less.

c.       In a year when a homestead property’s value remains the same, the assessed value would remain the same as the previous year.

d.      In a year when a homestead property’s value decreases, the assessed value would decrease by the same percentage amount decrease in just value.


2.)   Property appraisers should be allowed to use aerials photography for the requirement of auditing properties for their 5 year physical reviews.


Last year CS/CS/HB 595 was introduced to provide property appraisers the discretion to use oblique aerial imagery to perform audits to ensure the tax roll meets all the requirements of law.  This bill did not pass.

Using aerial photography would reduce costs to the property appraiser by being able to audit several times more properties every day, even in inclement weather, instead of 15 to 20 a day by physical inspection.  If there is some question as to viewing the property using aerial imagery, an on-site physical inspection would be conducted.

I believe Rep. Nelson is introducing a bill which adds to FS 193.023(2) and states “Where geographically suitable, and at the discretion of, the property appraiser may utilize image technology in lieu of physical inspection to ensure that the tax roll meets all the requirements of law.  Please support this bill to reduce the cost of physically inspecting 100,000 properties.


3.)   Recently, I wrote to you voicing my concern for veterans with combat-related injuries.  My letter asks you to consider removing the age requirement for these veterans in receiving the veteran’s disability exemption.  This requirement is found in FS 196.082.  I would ask your support or introduction of a measure eliminating this age requirement and compassionate consideration for the service of military men and women who placed everything on the line and came back injured.




4.)   In 2007, the Florida Department of Revenue sent out a bulletin (PTO 07-18) whereby the department stated they were providing tax roll information and aerial photographs free of charge on their website.


In 2008, HB 5061 was passed concerning the payment for aerial photograph by property appraisers.  This bill authorizes the department to charge counties with a population more than 25,000 for their aerial photographs.


Four days after I was required to submit my budget to the DOR for approval, I received a certified letter outlining to me how to budget and remit payment for the aerial photos.  Again, this was mailed four days after I was required to submit to the DOR for my budget approval.  Now, the citizens of Santa Rosa County are required to pay for these aerials and the state is authorized to provide them free of charge on the internet.  I believe this is an unfunded mandate, but I also believe the citizens of Santa Rosa County should be able to charge a commercial enterprise for receiving these images.  This would provide some return to our citizens for their expenditure on these required aerial images.  I wrote you a letter concerning this issue, and a copy is enclosed. 


5.)   I would request the FS 218.36 be amended so a constitutional officer can carry funds from one year to the next for capital expenditures.  This would be for those items which are budgeted by a constitutional officer on a reoccurring basis.  The officer would be allowed to set up an expenditure account for capital reserve that can be carried over from year to year without showing the carry over as an increase to their budget for that year.  The annual amount being placed into the reserve account could only be the amount shown in their budget for that particular year.  (Ex:  a mainframe computer system may cost $200,000, but may need only to be replaced every five years.  The constitutional officer may budget $40,000 per year and carry over the reserve amounts without having to show the total amount in the year of the expenditure or the purchase of a vehicle may cost $20,000 but the life of the vehicle may be five years, the constitutional officer will be allowed to place $4,000 per year into a reserve account, but the only amount that would be reflected in their budget for a particular year would be the amount placed into the reserve account).


6.)    Finally, I request that any budgeted funds not used by a constitutional officer during the year and which are currently refunded to the county at the end of the fiscal year, be credited back to the taxpayers through a reduction in millage rate determined on the aggregate amount returned by all of the constitutional officers.  The property appraiser when certifying the tax roll to the tax collector will calculate the adjusted millage rate.