Dear Editor,

Recently, as stated recently in the Chronicle of 12/1/10, I have been working for there to be Senior Homestead Exemption. In this project, I contacted the office of the Citrus County Property Appraiser for support in the effort to help the Senior Citizens of Citrus County on limited incomes obtain this much needed exemption for those Seniors with incomes of less than $25,780 per year. If approved, the Senior Homestead Exemption could be from $5,000- $50,000 !!!

After contacting the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s Office, I found that on October 26, 2010, the Property Appraiser, Mr. Geoffrey Greene, sent a letter to the Board of County Commissioners, stating that he thought that Senior Homestead Exemption “might be brought to the Board’s attention” and that he thought it would be “prudent” for his office to work with the BOCC Director of Finance and the Assistant County Administrator, “to conduct a further analysis and to bring back to the Board the appropriate data and recommendations on implementation”. Mr. Greene, also stated that “it may be appropriate to start out the first year at $5,000 to see how many people apply and qualify” Mr. Greene also stated in the letter: “there is a deadline for submittal of an application to the Florida Department of Revenue of December 1st.”

The BOCC had plenty of time to have applied for Senior Homestead Exemption by the “deadline of December 1st”. Not only did they not act, after receiving the above letter, but according to the Chronicle article of 12/1/10: “Commission Chairman Dennis Damato said he recalls the issue coming before the Board six years ago, he opposed the (Senior Homestead) exemption then and still does”.

Citrus County Property Appraiser Greene stated in the same above letter to the BOCC that “Citrus County is one of eight counties out of 67 total counties” that does not have the Senior Homestead exemption – It is interesting that the huge majority of the counties in Florida have consideration enough for Seniors to have this exemption for them – but not the majority of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners’ of Citrus County!

Recently, I have written not only to the BOCC but to officials of the cities of Crystal River and Inverness to adopt Senior Homestead Exemption!
There is always 2011 to get Senior Homestead Exemption approved for all governmental entities in Citrus County: this could be of interest for those seeking to relocate to Citrus County and this could help the real estate market and otherwise help our economy!

Renee Christopher-McPheeters
Crystal River