Pilot questions St. Joe ag exemption

Mark Nobles

Mark Nobles

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM.

At the Nov. 19 county commission meeting, Mark Nobles, a pilot, told commissioners he has noticed something missing.


Nobles, manager of Carrabelle’s Thompson Field, said he has flown over the county on a regular basis for 32 years. He said that when The St. Joe Company closed its Port St. Joe paper mill in 1996, it gated the access roads to its vast landholdings, denying public access to the private property.

“At the time, I thought it was due to illegal dumping,” said Nobles. “In retrospect, I believe they really didn’t want the public to know what was going on.”

Nobles said the company has harvested large amounts of timber from the property since the gates were put in place and not replanted the land with trees.

“There’s a lot of trees missing that can’t be seen from the road,” said Nobles.

He questioned that since the land is not being replanted, whether it should qualify for the greenbelt agricultural tax exemption under Florida law.

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