St. Joe Company Says Bay County's Tax Rate Is Unfair

All of this comes as its development plans remain in limbo because of lawsuits by environmentalists.

Bay County's property appraiser says St. Joe asked for and received a change in the property's zoning in December from agriculture to a mix of residential, commercial and airport-industrial.

The new rates likely will mean an additional $500,000 to the county this year. That number could jump to $1 million next year as the developments grow.

A St. Joe spokesman says that because of a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations and one individual, the land is useful only for agricultural purposes.

Agricultural uses are taxed at a much lower rate. The company is the state's largest landowner.