FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/08/18
DELAND, FL – The Libertarian Party of Volusia County urges our county and city officials not to buy into the push by Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett to collect unpaid code enforcement expenses on property tax bills. The measure could result in the forced sale of property.
“Homeowners and business owners could lose their property over this,” says J. Mark Barfield, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Volusia County Executive Committee. “It’s not enough government wants us to pay involuntary taxes and fees for the “privilege of living here,’ now they want to take our homes and businesses if we don’t meet their standards.”
Several council members thanked Bartlett for his suggestion. Council Member Billie Wheeler, whose district includes Daytona and Port Orange thanked Bartlett for “thinking outside the box.”
Bartlett says his idea will “provide some teeth to code enforcement” now protected by state homestead laws. “That homestead shields our cities from enforcing their liens,” Bartlett says.
Although Bartlett suggests elderly property owners and “low income folks” are not “the targets,” we all know those most in need will most likely be first affected.
Members of the LPVC understand residents and business-folk want to have community standards for themselves. Those standards serve to protect property values and resident’s overall sense of community. We get it. We live here, too. But we urge the community to consider one property owner’s weeds are another’s “native vegetation.” A boarded-up window may represent folks barely able to keep their homes. That discrepancy should never allow the government to take a person’s property.
Under Florida’s Tax Certificate Sale (FS 197.432) laws, unpaid tax debts are auctioned off to individuals and firms specializing in the practice. If those debt “Certificates” are not paid off within two years – now with interest tacked on – the property could be auctioned off to pay off the certificate holder.
LPVC members urge residents and business-folk to find equitable solutions to community concerns. Otherwise, tomorrow, it could be you.
Founded a year ago, the Libertarian Party of Volusia County is the local “Party of Principal” seeking maximum personal freedom through reduction in taxation and government intrusion in general. It is the official local affiliate of the Libertarian Party of Florida.