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Sarasota Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009 8 years ago

Tax bill to save residents $80,000

by: Robin Roy City Editor

For the first time in two decades, non-ad valorem tax notices and property-tax trim notices will be mailed in the same envelope, and the savings to taxpayers will be at least $80,000.

Shortly after he was elected, Property Appraiser Bill Furst, who is in charge of the trim notices, discussed with Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, who sends the non-ad valorem tax bills, why the two mailings weren’t sent together.

“She said it was a shame there was no cooperation between our offices,” Furst said. “I asked why there wasn’t, and she said she didn’t know.”

From that point forward, the two worked on a plan to send both notices in one envelope to save thousands of dollars on postage.

Historically, the property appraiser sent both notices at the same time. But the Legislature changed those rules in the 1980s, splitting the two mailings.

Ford-Coates said after that change she felt the taxpayers were being underserved, so she volunteered to mail the non-ad valorem notices so residents would be able to see what their bills were going to be.

Now that the two mailings will be combined again, taxpayers will save at least $80,000, because the number of envelopes and stamps needed will be cut in half.
Said Ford-Coates with a laugh: “Now you don’t have to open two envelopes and wonder why government is so stupid.”

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