Property Owners Get an Unpleasant Surprise

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

Cathey Hobbes fields dozens of calls a day from Mexico Beach homeowners who just received their taxing notice.

Cathey Hobbs with Parker Realty of Mexico Beach said, "There's gotta be help for people because we're getting hit in every direction right now with additional expenses and hardships, and this is just too much too fast."

Too much, being a 129 percent increase in Mexico Beach’s gross taxable property values. Too fast being a $77 million increase in Bay County since 2005.

"Quite frankly, we feel betrayed by the county property appraiser."

So citizens of Mexico Beach are taking a stand. Many are driving over to Panama City Friday morning to property appraiser Rick Barnett's Office.

He will take questions from concerned citizens at 10:00. He'll explain what, if anything, can be done about these added taxes. Many are hoping for a change.

Al Cathey, Mayor of Mexico Beach, said, "We're a long-term community here. We're not an investment people, we're not a development people, we have mom and pops who enjoy coming to Mexico Beach, and quite frankly they don't have the means to sustain that house."

But if these numbers stay as they are, some homeowners may not have a choice; either pay more, or move out.

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