The other Pensacola Beach property tax case that is still ongoing involves Portofino. Unlike the other cases, the Portofino leaseholders also contested the amount of the tax assessed on the improvements. When the battle over the legality of taxes on improvements was lost, the case returned to Judge Frank Bell in Escambia County to challenge the methodology used by the Property Appraiser, Chris Jones, to determine the value of the improvements.
Judge Bell ruled in December, 2010 that the Property Appraiser had indeed over-assessed the value of Portofino improvements. He also ruled that the land at Portofino is owned by the County and is not subject to ad-valorem taxes. This was the first time any court – local or appellate – had ruled that the leased land was not taxable. Chris Jones has appealed this ruling to the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Briefs are still being filed. No date has been set for oral argument.