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Friday, June 18, 2021

Florida Golf Course at the Center of a Major Property Tax Dispute

Tax issues can come in all shapes and sizes. At the individual level, major financial and legal issues can arise if taxes aren’t handled properly. At the business level, there can be even more logistical confusion, as, according to a CNBC Small Business Survey, 22% of small business owners didn’t even know their effective tax rate back in 2016. But when it comes to property tax disputes, however, there is often much more money involved and much more public discourse.

According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the River Bend Golf Club in Ormond Beach is involved in a major property dispute with the city and Volusia County over unpaid property taxes.

The tax dispute will have to be settled in court, potentially costing Florida taxpayers more than $100,698, which is the amount of money Volusia County is already attempting to collect in unpaid tax dues.

“It’s not an easy industry right now,” said Wes Norwood, owner of River Bend Golf Club. “Everybody in general has had a decline in business. Every golf course around here is under the same burden. We are not quite breaking even now.”

Norwood said that he and his staff was “blindsided” by the county’s sudden interest in perusing $20,000 taxes a year from the golf course. He claims that River Bend wasn’t properly notified when the tax exemption status was unexpectedly stripped in 2012 — and his business didn’t start getting notices from the county until 2015, as the bill contained to grow and even quadrupled during that three-year period.

“This is simply something that we weren’t aware of and didn’t anticipate, it shocked everyone,” he added. “The county blindsided us and it’s hardly fair… For our business, it’s not a small chunk or change.”

The Hometown News adds that Ormond Beach has lasted the city-owned property to the golf course for 27 years, most of which the property was considered tax-exempt.

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