Heritage Harbour residents will welcome decrease to tax assessments

nwilliams@bradenton.comSeptember 7, 2012 

HERITAGE HARBOUR -- For the third consecutive year, residents living in the Heritage Harbour south community development district in East Bradenton will see a decrease in property tax assessment.

On Thursday, the district board of supervisors adopted its 2013 fiscal budget during a public hearing that presented a $24,000 decrease from 2012. The 2013 fiscal budget amounted to $457,720, compared to $481,891 budgeted for 2012.

"We actually dropped assessments $20 this year per resident," said Lee Bettes chairman of the board. "We're pleased with that. We worked real hard and painfully to get to that point."

One resident in attendance applauded the district's budget, noting the community's assessments are significantly lower than most community districts in the area.

Thursday's public budget hearing is the board's last meeting of 2012 and final meeting for board members Rosalie Ann Celio and Anthony Burdett. Celio is vacating the seat while Burdett's seat will be turned over to a resident following the November elections. Burdett, an employee of Lennar, the developer of Heritage Harbour, is the home builder's last representative on the board. Bettes recognized Celio and Burdett at the meeting and thanked them for their contributions.

The new board, consisting of all residents, will reconvene in January of 2013.

"It gives us a broader perspective," said Bettes regarding a complete resident-controlled board of supervisors.

Bettes also told roughly two dozen residents in attendance that 2012 was a trying year for the district. The district is dealing with two lawsuits, both regarding tax assessments. In November of 2011, a $3.84 million lawsuit filed against the district by Stoneybrook Investors LLC, which essentially owns the golf course in the development.

In December of 2012, Lighthouse Cove at Heritage Harbour Inc. and Cecil Ramsey filed suit against the district of which one count claims the homeowners association was unfairly assessed $36,186.50 for storm water management.

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams

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