The Lake County Value Adjustment Board met on Thursday, May 25, 1995, at 3:00 a.m., in the Tavares City Hall Council Chambers, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, and William "Bill" H. Good. School Board members present were: Kyleen Fisher; and Judy Pearson. Others present were: Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser; Jordon Stuart, Attorney, representing the Property Appraiser; Frank Royce, Senior Appraiser; Robbie Ross, Tangible Personal Property Supervisor; Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Hanson, Chairman, reconvened the Value Adjustment Board.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT TAX EXEMPTION
Mr. Pete Wahl, representing the Village Center Community Development District, and Mr. Randall Thornton, Attorney, appeared before the Value Adjustment Board. Mr. Wahl explained that three (3) tax bills were submitted for tax exempt status with the understanding that all three (3) bills qualified for the 1994 tax year; however, the transfer of property from a gift of a park in November 1993 did not occur until April 1994 and, therefore, they are withdrawing Parcel Number 06 18 24 3000 001 0000.
Ms. Jordon Stuart, Attorney, representing Mr. Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser, appeared before the Board and explained that the Village Center Community Development District for 1994 did not file a petition or an application for exemption with the Value Adjustment Board due to confusion between the Village Center Community Development District and the Property Appraiser as to whether or not the property was exempt even though they received a tax bill. She explained that the reason that they received a tax bill was because of a misunderstanding which led Mr. Havill to believe that the major property in question was a shopping center and not an utility property. She further explained that it has been clearly established that it was a water and sewer system, and
Mr. Havill has determined that the Village Center Community Development District has met all of the requirements for exemption for 1994. She stated that the action requested this date was for the Value Adjustment Board to ratify that decision. She further explained that the two properties are used for a public purpose, were owned on January 1, 1994 by the Village Center Community Development District, and were exempt based on the requirements of Florida Statutes.
Mr. Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney, stated that Ms. Stuart has addressed areas of concern that he had in regard to a Good Cause Hearing, and a letter prepared by Mr. Havill, dated February 1995, which indicated that said property was not entitled to a tax exemption. He stated that he still was not clear on the requirement that they file a Good Cause Hearing.
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Ms. Pearson, to uphold the exemption granted by the Property Appraiser to the Village Center Community Development District in regard to Real Estate Parcel Number 06 18 24 0100 000 000B, and Tangible Parcel Number 00 00 00 0000 000 33450.
Mr. Duncan requested that Ms. Stuart discuss, for the record, the Attorney General's opinion that was pending at this time on tax exempt status on Community Development District properties. Ms. Stuart stated that Attorney General opinions are advisory in nature, and that she cites them as law in the absence of statute or law from the courts. She stated that she has, in the past, found them to be incorrect, and that she does not treat an Attorney General's opinion with the same authority that she treats an opinion of the courts or a statute. She stated that what was going to come out of the Attorney General's Office on this issue was going to be very limited in nature and should be used as authority with caution.
Mr. Duncan summarized that the Villages of Lady Lake was a Community Development District which was entitled to many of the same exemptions and immunities that are received by municipalities, counties, and governmental entities. He explained that they are seeking an exemption as a governmental entity on a solid waste plant and on a parcel of property, and that said exemption has not been granted to them in the past. He stated that, if the property was owned by the Community Development District, and it was used solely for the benefit for the district, they were entitled to said exemption.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried unanimously.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Value Adjustment Board, the meeting recessed at 3:15 p.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK