ad valorem taxes

Are we privatizing part of our law enforcement?

Are we privatizing part of our law enforcement?

We learned in the last two weeks about a couple of instances where it has become necessary to hire off duty deputies to slow down speeders in Holley by the Sea and to direct the flow of weekend traffic on Gulf Boulevard at the Navarre Beach Causeway. This presents an interesting scenario. On one hand, […]

Holley by the Sea hires traffic enforcement

Holley by the Sea hires traffic enforcement

The Holley by the Sea Homeowners’ Association (HBTS) board voted June 11 to pay $2,000 for off duty sheriff’s deputies to monitor traffic and write tickets. Board North Vice President Mike McKinney proposed the plan as a way to tackle ongoing complaints of speeding along the subdivision’s major roads such as Edgewood Drive and Sunrise […]

When the Home Builders speak, the county should listen

When the Home Builders speak, the county should listen

    The Home Builders Association turned out in numbers to Monday’s County Commission meeting wearing their red HBA shirts. The Home Builders Association of West Florida is a membership driven networking and advocacy group focused on the needs of the building and development industry and related business in Escambia and Santa Rosa County. The […]

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson has long had the Midas touch when asking county commissioners to boost his budget, but soon they intend to have him send much of his ever-increasing annual bill straight to taxpayers. “The idea is for the sheriff to become a taxing authority all his own, similar to the school district,” […]

More than 400 jobs coming to Santa Rosa

More than 400 jobs coming to Santa Rosa

More than 400 jobs could be coming to Santa Rosa County as yet another tenant plans to open shop at the nearly vacant Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10. Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree announced Monday that Project Runner, a warehouse distribution company, is moving to finalize opening a facility on 50 acres of the […]

Gulf Breeze race for mayor ramping up

Gulf Breeze race for mayor ramping up

The first two candidates for mayor in the City of Gulf Breeze in a decade to actually put up yard signs and knock on doors have already spent many times the $1 a year that the job pays, and their campaigns are just now gearing up. “I was thinking I could do this campaign without […]

County pursues lease-fee laggards

County pursues lease-fee laggards

Three years after county commissioners agreed to cap the annual lease fees on Navarre Beach residential property at $250 a year, about 150 leaseholder accounts are still overdue with total delinquencies of $215,258. Some of the lease accounts have had overdue balances that started long before the county capped the fees in 2015, and a […]

Consultant outlines 5-year strategy for county economy

Consultant outlines 5-year strategy for county economy

  New staff, expanded infrastructure, improved industrial parks and better websites are among the items on a laundry list of plans that Garner Economics LLC devised for Santa Rosa County’s next five years of economic development. And all of it comes with a price tag. Read the full article in the April 12 issue of […]

Gulf Breeze says flood control grants drying up

Gulf Breeze says flood control grants drying up

The squeeze could be on soon for City of Gulf Breeze homeowners to pay special assessments for stormwater control now that officials there have acknowledged that the prospect of more government grants is unlikely. That’s a sea change in a city where a blue ribbon Stormwater Task Force got off to a fast start after […]

Fire district’s bold increase angers payers

Fire district’s bold increase angers payers

Navarre residents received two tax notices in the mail this year. Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser Greg Brown sent out TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices of proposed ad-valorem taxes, but for the first time of his tenure he declined to send the Holley Navarre Fire Department (HNFD) assessment increase notices. “That’s an option I have,” […]

Gulf Breeze’s golf course legal fees top $1 million

Gulf Breeze’s golf course legal fees top $1 million

The money-pit image of Tiger Point Golf Club is well known among taxpayers and officials in the City of Gulf Breeze, which owns the 375-acre property. But new details about the true depth of the financial hole dug at Tiger Point Golf have emerged in a Santa Rosa Circuit Court document filed earlier this month. […]

Tiger Point golf neighbors wary of development

Tiger Point golf neighbors wary of development

The owners of homes near the defunct west course of Tiger Point Golf Club are expressing concern they may have new neighbors—either a public school or a sizable housing development. The former course, now vacant, is being studied as a possible school site while its owner—the City of Gulf Breeze—awaits prospective bids on the 47-acre […]

New houses rise from teardown sites

New houses rise from teardown sites

The number of Santa Rosa homes torn down to build new and bigger ones has nearly doubled since 2012, and the trend is evident from Milton to Gulf Breeze. “I think it’s a healthy sign for the real estate market,” said David Peaden, executive director of the West Florida Homebuilders Association. Read the full article […]

County pursues overdue lease fees

County pursues overdue lease fees

Two years after county commissioners agreed to cap the annual lease fees on Navarre Beach residential property at $250 year, more than 200 leaseholder accounts are still overdue with total delinquencies exceeding $200,000. Read the full article in the April 20 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per […]

Spite alleged in tax claim against Tiger Point Golf

Spite alleged in tax claim against Tiger Point Golf

The eight-month effort by Santa Rosa Property Appraiser Greg Brown to wring ad valorem taxes on Tiger Point Golf Club from the City of Gulf Breeze is getting more intense. Read the full article in the Feb. 23 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

New courthouse site could be Avalon area

New courthouse site could be Avalon area

The search for prospective sites for a new Santa Rosa County Courthouse is resuming in the wake of an abrupt about-face by Milton officials who no longer insist that it be located downtown. Read the full article in the Feb. 23 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per […]

Leaseholders weigh fee simple title over Navarre pass

Leaseholders weigh fee simple title over Navarre pass

Twice now a bill to allow Navarre Beach leaseholders to claim fee simple titles for their leased properties has made its way to the U.S. House of Representatives. Read the full article in the Feb. 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

Gulf Breeze City Hall shifts gears

Gulf Breeze City Hall shifts gears

Gulf Breeze leadership will soon take on a new look when longtime City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy steps aside into a part-time advisory role and a successor is named to lead the 6,000-resident municipality. Saying it’s time to “turn the page,” Eddy last week followed through with the retirement he has recently hinted at. Read […]

Santa Rosa’s growth gap increasing

Santa Rosa’s growth gap increasing

Although the central and south areas of Santa Rosa have long outpaced the north in residential development, the disparity is rising amid a wave of homebuilding since the Great Recession. The number of new houses built in Santa Rosa below the Blackwater River area—from Milton to Navarre Beach—reached 1,243 in 2015, the most recent year […]

The conspicuous councilman bows out

The conspicuous councilman bows out

Joe Henderson has marched to his own drum as a City of Gulf Breeze council member for the past six years, and he never seemed to mind if he fell a bit out of step. Sometimes referred by his critics–and affectionately by his fans– as “Councilman No,” Henderson could usually be counted on to ask […]

Jubilee land lawsuit may snag gift to county

Jubilee land lawsuit may snag gift to county

Conflict over the ownership of the 2,718-acre parcel known as Jubilee in north Santa Rosa could stall or even stop the planned donation of the property to the county. Atlanta area investor Ron Reeser, who once led the original development group that in 2007 planned to build thousands of houses and a golf course on […]

County to tax Gulf Breeze on Tiger Point Golf

County to tax Gulf Breeze on Tiger Point Golf

The latest headache for the City of Gulf Breeze over its ownership of Tiger Point Golf Club is that the Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser’s Office says the facility is no longer exempt from ad valorem taxes. That means the club is subject to about $30,000 a year in property taxes, equal to nearly one-third […]

Gigi the loggerhead granted lease extension

Gigi the loggerhead granted lease extension

District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson and Gigi the blind loggerhead sea turtle finally met, and he saw things her way. After his first visit to the Navarre Beach Turtle Conservation Center since its August opening – and a review of the nonprofit’s barebones finances – Williamson agreed this week that Gigi’s aquarium and accompanying environmental […]

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

Santa Rosa residents won’t have to pay higher ad valorem taxes because they rejected the referendum to fund a new county courthouse in downtown Milton with a temporary sales tax increase. Although some commissioners had indicated before the election that higher property taxes seemed the only alternative to building the $35 million courthouse, three of […]

Beach residents off the hook for renourishment

Beach residents off the hook for renourishment

Navarre Beach dwellers won’t have to pay a special assessment for this summer’s $15 million sand renewal, the Santa Rosa County Commission vote unanimously Tuesday night. Although Lane Lynchard, the commission chairman, said that beach residents do receive a “disproportionate benefit” from renewal of the shoreline, he acceded to his three board colleagues, who all […]

Gulf Breeze won’t buy troubled Club II

Gulf Breeze won’t buy troubled Club II

Renee Bookout says someone phoned her last week to suggest that the City of Gulf Breeze buy the financially strapped Club II tennis and swim facility. But she quickly rejected the idea. Although known for its investment forays into businesses that include a golf club, a water utility and municipal bonds, the town of 6,000 […]

County eyes unpaid lease fees

County eyes unpaid lease fees

Navarre Beach residents have long complained about being required to pay both Santa Rosa County ad valorem taxes along with their property lease fees. But some haven’t paid the latter for years. In fact, although the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association is lobbying to use lease fees to pay their share of the recent […]

Navarre Beach Development

Navarre Beach Development

To Whom It May Concern: I am one of the Developers proposing to construct a 134 unit condominium at Navarre Beach.  This land is privately owned and is zoned for 134 condo units and 15 stories.  The lease, which was drawn over 50 years ago, allows for a marina.  We have instead chosen to construct […]

Lease fees overdue on hundreds of beach properties

Lease fees overdue on hundreds of beach properties

More than 300 Navarre Beach leaseholders are at least 120 days behind on paying their lease fees in amounts totaling $348,145, according to Santa Rosa County finance records. Most of the delinquencies, which range from a few hundred dollars to more than $9,000 each, are less than a year old, but some date back as […]

Local-Option Sales Tax on November ballot

Local-Option Sales Tax on November ballot

Santa Rosa County Commissioners will again seek a local-option sales tax (LOST) in November to fund the building of a new courthouse on a site that has yet to be determined. The LOST would come on the heels of a gas tax implemented Jan. 1 that brought the taxes paid on gas from 6 cents […]