I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Unpacking the Beach Lease Mess Part II: Fixing the Problem Going Forward

Although we may not be able to fix some very bad deals (For Escambia County) that were negotiated in the past, we MUST reform the re negotiation process going forward.  This MUST happen.  

As I've discussed at the last meeting, and as I discussed here, here, and here--there is a massive problem with the way several recent "re-negotiations" have been handled at Pensacola Beach.

Several have and/or will lead to a staggering loss of revenue for the taxpayers going forward.

Some are questioning now whether the most egregious of these renewals can or should be "unwound" because the terms are so destructive to the taxpayers that own these properties.  

We shall see how that unfolds....

Meanwhile, we must fix the problem going forward, we MUST prevent this abuse of the taxpayer from EVER happening again in the future.  I have put together a simple, multi-step plan that I believe will solve the problem, make things right, and address this issue going forward.  It goes like this:

   --Establish a moratorium on ANY more large condo lease renewals by SRIA and without BCC    authorization until a standard process and standardized lease models/templates can be put into place with the SRIA.

1       --No renewals of any existing “Master Leases” ever.

2     -- No leaseholder shall be compelled to renegotiate any executed, lawful lease prior to expiration         UNLESS such a leaseholder makes the affirmative choice to do this. (in other words, if the status quo of your lease is to your satisfaction, you do not have to make any changes to what you are paying now-if you want to renegotiate early—you can)

3      --Homestead property that currently carries a perpetually renewing lease and pays full ad valorem         
        taxes on improvements and land shall NOT be required to pay SRIA lease fees going forward.

4      --Immediate reinstatement by SRIA of full lease fees on leased property, to be phased in over the next two years must occur

      -- To satisfy those opposed to any further development and opposed to fee simple, the BCC should make the preservation areas and all currently public areas of Pensacola Beach off limits to further lease or development in perpetuity, requiring a UNANIMOUS vote of any subsequent Board to change this.  Additionally, the BCC should vote to make the current dwelling cap at Pensacola Beach PERMANENT via an ordinance that would also require a UNANIMOUS vote of any subsequent Board to change this. 

       And Finally.....

      ---  Any new renewal request of a lease that is to be “renegotiated” shall be be either  
A.     A perpetual lease, NO SRIA lease fees (pays ad valorem tax on land and improvement—next best thing to fee simple title)


B. 99-year lease with renegotiation after the initial term (pays ad valorem tax on improvements and MARKET RATE SRIA lease fees with CPI indexed adjustments every 5 years of the term)

No comments: