Florida counties battle home improvement program


Several Florida counties are pushing back against the Florida PACE Funding Agency. The agency allows private companies to make home improvements with no up-front cost to homeowners. Instead, a special assessment is placed on the property. That increases the property tax bill and, in some cases, can prevent the property from being sold.

In Alachua County, Sylvia Torres, county attorney, sent a cease-and-desist letter to one company, citing its lack of consumer protections.

“It just lets them know that we do not believe that they have the right to operate in our county without an active interlocal agreement with Alachua County and we expect them to stop providing that kind of funding in Alachua County,” Torres said.

In Columbia County, commissioners passed a resolution supporting the tax collector and property appraiser to prevent PACE assessments. County attorney Joel Foreman told commissioners a long legal battle is likely.

“All the tax collectors in the state received another letter from Florida PACE Funding Agency, essentially, doubling down,” Foreman said. “I’m fairly confident we’re going to find ourselves in a lawsuit that involves multiple counties.”

Florida PACE Funding Agency cites a Leon County court’s approval last October as legal authorization to provide the service.

About Mike Loizzo

Mike is a multimedia content producer for WUFT News and can be reached by calling 352-273-2274 or emailing mloizzo@ufl.edu.

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