Something Fishy in Nassau County

Nassau County is contemplating the imposition of special assessments that may be provided for but not limited to eight activities

Something Fishy in Nassau CountyContributed by: Suanne Thamm

Something Fishy, Part 2

Okay, the biggest fish caught was this writer. When I was forwarded the Nassau County Commission’s recently passed Resolution 2011-190 (A resolution of Nassau County, Florida electing to use the uniform method of collecting non-ad valorem special assessments levied within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county, etc.), I read it several times and concluded that it was a harbinger of things to come: new county special assessments.

Shortly after my original email hit the wires, I received an email from County Commissioner Danny Leeper that contained an explanation of this resolution written by County Manager Ted Selby. Commissioner Leeper also denied that the county is using this resolution as a back door to more taxes under the term special assessment. Not wanting to mislead Searchamelia.com readers, I pass along both of these official clarifications for your information.

Ted Selby wrote, “Resolution 2011 ­ 190 is the annual resolution the County adopts that permits the use of the uniform method of collection of non-ad valorem assessments. Florida Statute 197.3632 addresses this method of collection. Over simplified, it allows the assessments to be included in the tax bills sent out by the Tax Collector. We currently have several that include the SAISSA capital project and SAISSA maintenance assessments. The Amelia Concourse also has a maintenance assessment. At one time we used this method for the Landfill assessment also. The BOCC has not discussed adding any non ad valorem assessments nor are they scheduled to consider any that I am aware of.

Years ago, the SAISSA and Landfill assessments were mailed separately from the annual tax bills, which caused several problems when citizens did no pay. Using the Tax Collector method is much easier and has been used for years in Nassau County.”

County Commissioner Danny Leeper further emphasized Selby’s point by adding, “I brought this up to our Board this morning [February 22] and can assure you Nassau County Commissioners are not and have not raised and are [not] raising taxes. Please review [Selby’s] response and if you have any questions please call me. I hope the misleading information that was sent out can be clarified.”

While it’s true that my piece appeared as opinion, not reporting, I have criticized other opinion writers for not getting their facts straight first. When you point your index finger, the three remaining fingers point back at you. Just goes to show, it’s never a guarantee to rely completely on a good source and on the actual words in a resolution without context or history.

Editor’s note: There was a resolution passed by the County Commissioners in December that will permit non-ad valorem assessments to be collected via the Tax Collector. Apparently, citizens pay the bills more efficiently using this method. This is done each year and if you watch the video of the passing of this resolution, you will hear someone say this is done every year.

Here is a link if you would like to view the passing of this resolution on December 12, 2011:

http://nassaufl.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=363

When the video loads, open the drop down menu on the left side of the page where it says, “Jump to”. Select “S” this is the approval of the resolution section of the video.

You can download the entire resolution below:
[download id=”49″]

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Information overload may be one explanation for the don’t care attitude; another explanation may be that in recent years home-ownership has become a burden to many, better be avoided or abandoned as an American Dream. In addition any Government on any level will relentlessly test how far they can go with taxing constituents beyond their carrying capacity (or willingness to pay), which will ultimately kill off the middle class. And remember that democracy needs a large middle class to sustain itself as a viable system. Now picture the future for your children.

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