St. Joe settlement comes through

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM.

An infusion of close to $62,000 in additional tax proceeds, as a result of a settlement with The St. Joe Company, helped lead to school employees’ ratification this week of a one-year contract deal.

The schools received a check last week from Tax Collector Jimmy Harris for $61,891 as a result of the settlement. The county received $53,745 from the settlement, while the Northwest Florida Water Management District got $698, for a total of $116,133.

Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper said the settlement with The St. Joe Company dates back to 2007, when the company first went to court to protest the valuation of 147 lots in the SummerCamp development on the eastern end of the county. The company also sued over the appraisals for 2008 and 2009.

Skipper said St. Joe argued that some of their values were inflated because while there were contracts in 2004, for deeds agreed upon during the height of real estate market, these weren’t recorded until 2006, when values had already begun to fall.

She said she and Doris Pendleton, the former property appraiser, met with St. Joe representatives in April 2010 to discuss these valuations.

Skipper said the county offered St. Joe a $15 million reduction in value on the whole SummerCamp subdivision for three years. “We met and made that offer and heard nothing from them up until Doris retired,” she said.

Skipper said the company contacted the property appraiser’s office in October and December 2012, but the county’s offer remained the same.

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