Beach leaseholders oppose renourishment assessment

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Romi White

Dozens of Navarre Beach leaseholders have contacted Santa Rosa County Commissioners to oppose a potential $3.2 million special assessment for the recently completed beach renourishment project.

According to Santa Rosa County Public Information Officer Brandi Whitehurst, the State of Florida reduced its allocation toward the project after it was completed under budget.

So commissioners are moving forward with a proposed Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) for beach leaseholders.

“The proposal is discriminatory in that it seeks to tax a few Santa Rosa property owners for a ‘benefit’ that is used by the vast majority of Santa Rosa County,” stated Brent and Cheryl Moore in an August 16 letter to the board.

If commissioners impose the MSBU, leaseholders could see an increase in their annual property taxes for eight years, starting with their 2016 ad valorem bill.

Supporting documentation shows leaseholders would be assessed based upon their location. For example, a non-waterfront condominium on a shared parcel of property on the Sound side could receive a roughly $37 assessment, but a Gulf-front parcel owned by one individual could get hit with a $25,000 annual assessment.

The potential MSBU was on also agenda for the Aug. 20 Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association meeting. Attendance was standing room only with more than 50 people present.

Members were encouraged to reach out to commissioners and attend the public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 23.

Commissioners will discuss the proposed MSBU for beach leaseholders and other special assessments, including:

Camden Road (Holley By The Sea) paving at $401 per lot for 7 years; Duncan Ridge subdivision lighting at $54.78 per lot per year; Ponderosa Paving (Woodlawn Beach) at a variable rates for 15 years; and Polynesian Isles Canal System maintenance and Boat Ramp repair at $158.20 per lot for 5 years.

The hearing sstart at 6 p.m. and will take place at the Santa Rosa County Administrative Complex, located at 6495 Caroline Street in Milton.

For those who cannot attend, the meeting will be streamed live and available for replay at: (click on the Aug. 23 hearing).

Additionally, the email to reach all four commissioners is