Home, Sweet Home

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

A single photo of their son with his son was strewn across what was left of their belongings after a tornado ravaged through their Allenton neighborhood on September 15.

But Richard and Barbara Philby don't dwell on the misfortune, since they had evacuated and were safe.

“We lived through a lot of things in our life. We lost our son four years ago, so next to that, this was just material things."

But these material things are still a tax burden for the Philby's who just learned the Florida legislature passed a law that will give property tax rebates up to $1,500.

Lawmakers approved the bill for home owners who could not live in their house for at least 60 days.

Property appraisers will check out claims and forward a list of eligible property owners to the state. Home owners have until March 1 to apply for the property tax rebate.

The Philby's lived in a hotel for a month and are now renting, but say they are ready to go home and are thankful for the tax relief along the way.

"We're building another house on the same site because all our neighbors went through the same things. Out of the eight homes on our street, five were completely destroyed, so we're all going to build again."

It’s a community torn apart, but they say each hurdle that will take them home is just that, a hurdle.

"This is nothing, this storm. We'll overcome."

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