TAVARES — The Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office released a new online tool (www.lakecopropappr.com/report-exemption-abuse.aspx) this week that allows residents to report property-tax exemption abuse.
When a property owner receives, but is no longer entitled to a homestead exemption or an agricultural classification, it is deemed to be non-compliant and abuse of the law. Residents can use this new online tool, which was created by the Lake County Office of Information Outreach, to anonymously report exemption abuse.
“Every dollar that is taken off the tax roll from an illegal exemption affects the level of service of that taxing authority to some degree,” said Frank Royce, Chief Deputy of the Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office. “This new online tool to report exemption abuse does not limit the public from calling us if they wish to speak to someone directly.”
If a citizen knows of a property in Lake County currently receiving a tax reduction from a homestead exemption or an agricultural classification, which he or she believes should not be receiving, the Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office urges them to report the property by filling out the online form at www.lakecopropappr.com or calling (352) 343-9795.
When reporting a suspected exemption abuse the following information is requested:
For homestead exemption abuse:
- The address of the property in question;
- Whether the property is vacant, a rental or a vacation home;
- The length of time since the owner has lived at the property;
- The address where the owner may be living now (if known); and
- Other available information, such as owner’s name and parcel ID number (if known).
For agricultural classification abuse:
- The address or location of the property;
- The nature of the abuse; and
- Other available information, such as owner’s name or parcel ID number.