MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY commissioners
monday – MAY 8, 1959
The Board of County Commissioners met in called session in the County Commissioners’ room in the Courthouse at Tavares at 2:30 P.M., Friday, May 8th, for the purpose of discussing with the Tax Assessor and School Board the matter of re-evaluating property in Lake County, with the following present: Chairman Simpson; Commissioners Theus, Cowart, Bishop, and Cross; Attorney Duncan; Clerk Owens; R. G. Cassady, Tax Assessor; and from the School Board the following: Joe L. Jenkins, Superintendent; Roy Christopher, Attorney; Paul Bryan, Fred Adkinson, L. M. Holloway, Ed Matteson and Buster Williams, Members of the School Board.
The Board was called to order by Chairman Simpson who announced we were advised this morning that several of the towns have adopted Resolutions to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners at its next regular meeting relative to requesting a reassessment of Lake County Property, and as the School Board and the Board of County Commissioners would be vitally interested, this meeting was called to get the view of the School Board along this line. Mr. Duncan said there was delivered to him recently a Resolution from the Town Council of the Town of Umatilla urging the County Commissioners to re-evaluate property in Lake County. (Copy of Resolution filed) Copy of Resolution of the City of Eustis recommending the Board of County Commissioners to take an immediate and affirmative action to obtain a re-evaluation and re-assessment of property values in Lake County was filed. Mr. Duncan thinks the matter should be discussed between the two Boards and suggested that the meeting be opened for discussion as to whether or not we have a re-evaluation. Mr. Simpson asked if anyone has any suggestions to make on this issue now. Mr. Duncan suggested to call on the Members of the Board of County Commissioners, Members of the School Board and the Tax Assessor to express whether we should or should not have re-evaluation of Lake County property. Mr. Cross stated if we re-evaluate everybody’s, taxes in general are going up and he thinks should have resolutions from the two bodies controlling the millage downward as values go up. Mr. Theus stated he thinks the School Board should assure the County Commissioners that it is not their intent to increase the millage. Mr. Cassady stated he has had a number of people ask him how he feels about re-evaluation. I have told them all that I do not oppose re-evaluation if the people of Lake County want it. I oppose the impression that it will not mean an increase in taxes, as I think it will mean an increase. I am opposed to the impression in some places that all the increase in revenue is going to be from Homesteads. I do not think that will be the case. I do think that homestead will be increased. Every type of property is going up in the same amount and I think people should be told fairly and honestly that it is going to be an increase in taxes to everybody. Many homes, white districts as well as colored districts, are still not going to pay taxes because the homes are not worth $5,000.00. The point is that the increase in taxes is not going to be just on Homesteads, as that would not be fair. Mr. Cassady stated that people have asked him would the Tax Assessor’s office cooperate if called for re-evaluation. He told them the Tax Assessor’s Office would cooperate.
The following persons spoke for the School Board: Paul Bryan; Fred Adkinson; Joe L. Jenkins; Buster Williams; L. M. Holloway; and Ed Matteson.
Mr. Duncan stated he thinks the School Board and the County Commissioners should get together. Mr. Bryan invited the County Commissioners to meet with them when they make up the budget. Mr. Simpson, Chairman, called for vote by hand on opinion of this group to have re-evaluation. Show of hands affirmed the group in favor of re-evaluation. Mr. Christopher questioned that the filing of two Resolutions would be sufficient reason for re-evaluation. Thinks the requests should be County wide. He thinks the only fair way would be an excise tax. Mr. Peter and Mrs. Reese voiced their opinions. (FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION IN DETAIL PLAY RECORD)
Motion by Commr. Theus, seconded by Commr. Bishop and carried, that the Firm of Hunnicutt & Associates of St. Petersburg, appraisal consultants, be invited to appear before the Board on Monday, May 11th, if possible, or as soon thereafter as convenient to discuss with the Board the cost and length of time required to make a re-evaluation of both real and personal property in Lake County.
/s/ Frank E. Owens /s/ O. M. Simpson