Mr. Gregory said, “If I had been appraiser when Les Cook wanted to go to Tyler Technologies for the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s office online presence I would have gone online to see what kind of reputation the company had. Well, I wasn’t the Property Appraiser and he didn’t, but as one of the employees who would be working with the new system I thought it important to investigate for myself what the new system would have in store for us.” And this is what he discovered: Nassau County, New York had been using Tyler Technologies for 5 years and the Nassau County, New York had all kinds of problems with them, not the least of which, was the fact the company’s system had been taxing the buildings of county government for property taxes! Nassau County is located immediately east of New York City. The county, together with Suffolk County to its immediate east, are generally referred to as "Long Island". Two cities, three towns, 64 incorporated villages, and more than 60 unincorporated hamlets are located within the county. At the time Mr. Gregory did his investigation into Tyler Technologies, he said “this information was readily available, over the ensuing years Tyler Technologies had worked out it problems with Nassau County, New York and now has a 20 to 30 million dollar contract with the county for it’s online presence.” Mr. Gregory also stated, “it’s not the end of the story and he had given this information directly to Gerry Mulligan who doesn’t want anything to do with it, least of all to publish it in the Chronicle. After fulfilling the remainder of Geoffreys Greene’s term and winning an election with no opposition Les Cook came to the Meadowcrest office in Crystal River, calling all the staff into the conference room and told them that he no longer wanted to use the “MARS” program that had been used since the Administration of Ron Schlutz. Gregory said, “Cook told everyone in the conference room he was tired of giving Schlutz’s relatives the license fee for the program every year and that’s how the office got involved with Tyler Technologies.” Mr. Gregory went on to say the crux of the manner was the fact that the Meadowcrest Complex acquire in 2014 for 3.3 million dollars in 2019 the Property Appraiser’s Office had it valued at 2.5 million, loosing $800,00 in fair market value in the intervening years and was and is still being assessed for property taxes!” “Buildings owned by the County are not taxed by the County, any commercial businesses in the complex would pay Tangible Taxes to the County. So where is the money going starting with the $39,000.00 from the 2014 Tax Bill that the County paid to itself?
Before the Complex was bought the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners and the owners of the property, GULF TO LAKES ASSOCIATES LTD were signing off on permit for a 1.5 million dollar remodel together. And Citrus County was left having to pay this bill, along with the 3.3 million purchase price. Mr. Gregory stated and further said, “When I met with Angela Vick, Citrus County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, during my run against County Commissioner Ron Kitchen, Ms. Vick admitted the County was at wits end in trying to find a way to pay for all the manners related to Meadowcrest, then she said, Thank God, we finally figured out a way to pay for it.” Mr. Gregory stated, “According to the Florida Statute sited on the 2014 Citrus County Tax which the previous owner of the property received but had sold the property to Citrus County now between January 1 and November 1 of that year by a governmental unit exempt under this chapter for any means except condemnation for use exclusively for federal, state, county, or municipal purposes, the taxpayer shall be required to place in escrow with the county tax collector an amount equal to the current taxes prorated to the date of transfer of title, based upon the current assessment and millage rates, on the land involved. This fund shall be use to pay any ad valorem taxes due, and the remainder of taxes which would otherwise have been due for that current year shall stand canceled.” “The bottom line is Citrus County SHOULD NOT BE TAXING it’s own buildings!”
A excerpt from Government Technologies offering a possible solution to the cloak of silence that engulfs any public information request from most government structures in Florida whether it be city, county or state. “Mr. Gregory said, “Politicians have effectively circumvented Florida’s Sunshine Law and and should be held accountable!” and referenced this article:
Nassau County, N.Y., Opens Up Finances Amid Corruption Scandal
With a former county executive currently on trial for financial malfeasance, the New York City area county’s new comptroller is using technology to promote transparency and establish open data best practices.
by Zack Quaintance / February 15, 2019
With a former county executive currently on trial for alleged financial malfeasance, Nassau County, N.Y., Comptroller Jack Schnirman has turned to technology to establish transparency and rebuild public trust in government.
Schnirman, who took office in 2018, campaigned in part on a promise to open up and modernize the county’s finances in response to a history of scandals, and now he has taken a big step in that direction with Nassau County Open Checkbook. Powered by Socrata Open Expenditures, it launched in recent weeks and is essentially a platform that allows users — be they members of the public, the media, or public servants themselves — to see how the county is spending its money, down to the individual transaction level. Schnirman described it as a stark contrast from how government spending in the county has traditionally been handled.
“It had really been a black box so to speak,” Schnirman said. “If you wanted information, you had to make a specific Freedom of Information Act request and almost be sent to an attic or basement to review boxes of files. There was no easy way to look at this information in a user-friendly format from a resident perspective, and from a user perspective it wasn’t much different.”
Mr. Gregory doesn’t suggest the utilizing of any more corporate structures to fix Florida problems rather penalties should be accessed to governmental offices that have fail to abide by Florida Sushine Laws