Budget up for vote
Residents get their last chance to comment on the city of Venice proposed 2012-13 annual budget Tuesday at 5 p.m. in council chambers.
Two weeks ago council adopted the rollback millage rate.
There was little public reaction, until this week when Bay Indies Mobile Home Park residents mobilized over a substantial tax increase.
Resident Mike Rafferty documented property appraisals, showing increases in commercial manufactured-home communities ranging from 20 percent to 66 percent, while resident-owned properties increased mostly in single digits.
By comparison, he pointed out single family residences in the Venetian Golf & River Club dropped by 20 to 30 percent.
Manufactured-home community residents flooded city hall with emails denouncing the rise in appraised value that led to the increase, and asking that council be lenient when it adopts the new millage rate.
Mayor John Holic responded by email, saying he understood their displeasure, but it’s an issue to be taken up with the county property appraiser.
Property Appraiser Bill Furst responded, also by email, saying the Bay Indies Mobile Home Park appraisal was made on the best information available.
Furst said his office was forced to rely on market-driven data collected from comparable sales in the past few years because the park’s owner didn’t respond to his request for information on income and expenses.
“While my office certainly sympathizes with the park’s tenants and their individual situations,” Furst wrote, “Florida law requires me to value every parcel at market value, which we have done.
“The simple fact is that the owner of the parcel has seen appreciation in that market sector and the cash flow on these types of properties has improved, increasing the market value accordingly.”