In our March Newsletter
we provided an update about the Pensacola Beach tax lawsuits. Basically, two of the Pensacola Beach law suits first filed in 2004 when property taxes were assessed on leasehold improvements are still active in the Florida court system. Oral arguments in our appeal were heard by the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee on February 15th
. The Court has yet to issue an opinion.
Last week, the First District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in the Navarre Beach case known as Accardo v. Brown (Case No.1D10-4072). The Court agreed with the trial court that the Navarre Beach leaseholders are the equitable owners of both the real property (land) and improvements and are subject to ad valorem taxes as such. This is not good news for the Pensacola Beach plaintiffs who can expect to be taxed on the land in addition to the improvements in 2011.
Many of the plaintiffs in the Pensacola Beach case who are not paying taxes received a DELINQUENT NOTICE from the Tax Collector, Janet Holley, in the mail last week. The Court has issued a stay order preventing Ms. Holley from collecting the ad valorem taxes assessed by the Property Appraiser until the Court has taken final action in this case.
Plaintiffs in this case are not required to pay the taxes until all Court action is final. A tax certificate cannot be issued. The law does allow for 12 percent simple interest per year to be assessed on back taxes if the court determines the tax to be legal. The interest rate has been included in the amounts shown on the Delinquent Notice. Some plaintiffs have chosen to pay back taxes because the accrued interest is getting high – but are not required to until the case is settled.
Anyone who chooses to pay the taxes to avoid further accumulation of interest can do so without jeopardizing their standing in this case. There is a provision in Florida law for a refund in the event the Court rules in our favor.
We will continue to keep you updated. You can also visit the official website for the Pensacola Beach Taxation Lawsuit at www.pbeachtaxsuit.com.