The Fight Over Taxes

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Panama City Beach Mayor Lee Sullivan says the fight is unnecessary.

"The county's responsibility is to take care of the county, if they haven't planned well, they can't do their job. That's not my fault and they're not going to hang their ratty coat on my community."

The debate is about the Front Beach Road community redevelopment area, the CRA. In 2001, the city created the CRA for Front Beach Road in order for improvements. it allows tax revenues for all increases in the value of property to go back to that particular area for development.

The county commissioners who use the property tax claim the property on Front Beach was under-accessed and now the county is getting shafted.

County Commissioner John Newberry says the county deserves more than they're getting.

"It caps it at the present value and so anything that increases in the past, the increases would have come to the county and the county would have distributed it."

One of the main contentions, however, is the cap of property values a few years ago before the flow of high the beach. The County commissioners wanted the city to consider modifications such as reducing the percentage of the property tax the CRA receives.

Mayor Sullivan says he's not about to waver on his stand to keep the CRA.

"There will be no deviation, in our course, for us. We continue to believe PCB is part of Bay County, what is good for PCB is in turn good for Bay County."

Panama City Beach commissioner, Bill Mathieu agrees with the mayor, "I don't know that there's anything to resolve, the CRA was formed according to Florida statues and the CRA is going to bring good things to bay county."

So, it seems Thursday’s battle did not resolve the county's concern or falter the city's position.