Property taxation is an issue of great importance to many Beach leaseholders. There is some news that PBA members might be interested in.
In February of 2012 the Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction in the Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach cases challenging ad valorem taxation of leasehold improvements and land. At that time, the Court dispensed with oral argument in both cases. We received word today that the request oral argument made by the attorneys representing the leaseholders has been granted. Oral argument in both cases has been scheduled for the docket on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9am. The order in which the cases on the docket are heard will be determined later. The Court indicated that a maximum of 20 minutes per side will be allowed for the attorneys to make their case.
The Pensacola Beach case is known as 1108 Ariola, ET. AL vs. Chris Jones, ET. AL (SC11-2231) and contests the taxation of leasehold improvements. The Navarre Beach case is known as Accardo ET. AL. vs. Gregory Brown (SC11-1445). The briefs filed with the attorneys from both sides as well as the "Friend of the Court" brief filed by Portofino in support of the Pensacola Beach case can be viewed at www.pbeachtaxsuit.com It is not light reading.
Keep in mind that November 6th is election day and that Tallahassee is one hour ahead of Pensacola. More information will be forthcoming for those interested in travelling to Tallahassee to attend the oral argument and how to view the arguments over the Internet.
The schedule for the oral arguments is nearly 2 months away. When the Supreme Court will render a decision, is still unknown. At least, the issue of taxing leasehold property will have its day in the highest court in the state.
If you have any questions, please email them and we will try to address them on the PBA web site or in our newsletter.
Submitted by Lila Cox