Thursday, January 19, 2017

Over 600 Jacksonville-Area Property Owners Get Slapped With Liens Totaling $3.1+ Million In 2016 For Improper Tax Break Claims Under State's Homestead Exemption; Local Official Says He's Shooting For $5 Million In Liens For 2017

In Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV Channel 47 reports:
  • Duval County taxpayers could save $3 million thanks to a record year by the Property Appraiser's Office.

    Investigators are cracking down on fraud and non-compliance, collecting money owed to taxpayers.

    The Property Appraiser’s Office did over 600 liens in 2016, and said in 2017 it's coming for those who owe taxes, whether they're intentionally committing fraud or not.

    Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland said 2016 was a big year for his office.

    “Our noncompliance division has liened over $3.1 million in back taxes for people who did not or were not entitled to their homestead exemption,” Holland said.

    Holland tells Action News Jax that means people were claiming a home as their primary residence even when it was not. “They may be renting the home out or part of the home out,” Holland said.
    Holland said not everyone is intentionally trying to defraud the city, and the amount of the liens can vary. “Sometimes just a thousand, $1,200 to as much as $40 (thousand) to $50,000. Average is about $8 (thousand) to $10,000,” Holland said.

    Liens that Holland said will keep happening in 2017. The goal this year is $5 million in liens for taxes not paid.

    The majority of them go back six to eight to 10 years, which is not a good sign because it means they've been getting away with it for quite some time,” Holland said. [...] The money is collected by the Tax Collector's Office. Holland says a portion goes to the city of Jacksonville, the school district, the state and other entities, so they get their share of back taxes.

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