Lee appraiser sends $216,817 'message' to couple over homestead fraud
March 30, 2010 Southwest Florida News-Press
An independent property board has ruled Charles and Barbara Parsons must pay $216,817 in back taxes and penalties, plus 15 percent interest, for tax breaks they received when they claimed to live in a house the board ruled they rented out from 2005 to 2008. 'I'm trying to send a message - this is a problem, it's growing,' said Ken Wilkinson, Lee County property appraiser. 'It's just wrong because it steals from everybody else.'The ruling by the Value Adjustment Board upholds the appraiser's office decision last year to remove the homestead exemption at the upscale riverfront home the couple had been renting for business purposes.