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Defective Drywall Information

February 1, 2013

Dear Lee County Property Owner:

It has been several years since our office first recognized that defective drywall was prevalent in our county and instituted a process to provide tax relief to those affected. To date, many homeowners in Lee County are still experiencing the anxiety of dealing with defective drywall in their homes. People have been displaced and their lives disrupted. Remediation or reconstruction can make your home uninhabitable, while costing many thousands of dollars.

Many of you with the defective drywall in your homes have called my office and asked if your property values will continue to be adjusted. As your elected Property Appraiser, it is my constitutional duty to work on your behalf regarding any issues concerning ad valorem assessments. If you believe your home is affected we need to know about it. Please complete the survey on the back of this letter and return it to us via U.S. Mail (Lee County Property Appraiser, PO Box 1546, Fort Myers, FL, 33902), fax (239-533-6107), or e-mail (Chinesedrywall@leepa.org) as soon as possible. More information is available on our website, www.leepa.org. The initial review for each case reported to my office will be based on the merits of the documentation you provide. It is important to emphasize, that it is the property owner’s responsibility to submit documentation to this office. Any information pertaining to 2013 should be forwarded to our office as soon as possible. If you should have any question, feel free to contact Bruce Basiliere at (239) 533-6158 or via email: Bruce Basiliere.

Respectfully,

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

 
February 9, 2012

Dear Lee County Property Owner:

During 2010, the Florida legislature acted upon the defective drywall issue and created Florida Statute 193.1552. Our office uses this statute while preparing assessed values for properties affected by the defective drywall. We are also aware that tentative guidelines have been implemented by the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) as well as US District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon for acceptable methods of resolving the problems in homes that have or exhibit signs of defective drywall. Please visit our website, www.leepa.org, and click on the defective drywall link for the latest information on what we are doing in response to the defective drywall issue.

Our office continues to take a proactive approach to addressing the defective drywall situation in Lee County and in order for our office to continue to recognize the impact defective drywall has on your property value, we will need for you to complete this letter and return it to our office before May 1, 2012. We will verify and review the information you provide and use it to determine your eligibility for a value adjustment.

Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and if you have any questions, feel free to visit our website at www.leepa.org or contact Bruce Basiliere directly at (239) 533-6253.

Respectfully,

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

 
January 1, 2010

Dear Lee County Property Owners:

As many of you are aware, the Chinese drywall issue is still being researched and discussed by a number of government agencies at the local, state and federal level. As of this letter, we are unaware of any formalized or widely accepted methods of resolving the problem in homes that have Chinese drywall or exhibit signs of having Chinese drywall. Although we do not yet have guidelines outlining how to resolve the situation, we will again review market information to determine if there needs to be an adjustment to values of properties exhibiting signs of defective Chinese drywall.

For the latest information, please visit our website at www.leepa.org. Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to address the defective Chinese drywall situation in Lee County.

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

September 24, 2009

Dear Lee County Property Owners:

As you may be aware, we have been collecting data in an effort to provide a value adjustment for the existence of Chinese Drywall for those properties that could substantiate the claim. In previous updates we have advised you that the adjustment would be 50% reduction of the Just (Market) value of the property. In order to determine whether or not a property qualified for the adjustment, we have applied the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Step-by-Step Self-Assessment Guide for signs that a home may be affected by drywall imported from China. The information you provided to us has allowed us to categorize your parcel into one of three status groups:

  • Your parcel has documentation that “Meets DOH Guidelines” and HAS been granted a 50% Just value reduction; “Meets DOH” means that there are sufficient “Yes” answers to the Florida DOH case definition questions and the answers have been documented/confirmed by a third-party (inspector, contractor, builder, engineer etc.).
  • Your parcel is classified as “Needs an Inspection” when there are sufficient “Yes” answers to the Florida DOH case definition question but the answers HAVE NOT yet been confirmed by a third-party. It meets the Florida DOH Guidelines and HAS been temporarily granted a 50% Just value reduction pending verification.
  • Your parcel is classified as “Needs Research/Needs More Information” when there is no documentation or the documentation submitted is not sufficient to make a decision. Your parcel HAS NOT been granted the Just value reduction.

In the next few days, if you reported Chinese drywall to our Office, you should be receiving a Revised Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (“revised TRIM”). Included with the Notice is a specific letter that reflects your parcel’s current status listed above.

If your parcel is classified as “Meets DOH Guidelines” you should receive the Meets DOH letter.

If your parcel is classified as “Needs an Inspection” you should receive the Needs an Inspection letter.

If your parcel is classified as “Needs Research” you should receive the Needs More Information letter.

Contacting our Office. Within each letter there are instructions for what you need to do to complete the process. Sending an email to ChineseDrywall@leepa.org is best. If that is not an option, please call us directly at (239) 533-6293.

  • If you have questions about how we arrived at your specific value, you should contact our Office.
  • Please contact our Office immediately if you feel that you received the incorrect letter; we can explain to you the information we have and how we came to the decision. We are more than willing to work with you during these difficult times. Just be aware that the determinations are scheduled to be finalized on October 19th. Please do not wait until the last minute to contact us if you feel we have made an error.
  • You should contact our Office if you have reported Chinese drywall and you have not received a letter within the next few days. Please Note: If you reported Chinese drywall to our Office after the deadline of September 18th, you will not be receiving a revised TRIM Notice or a letter from our Office. Please visit our website in the future for details regarding your situation.

Important Information About the Value Reduction. The 50% reduction is applied to the Just (Market) value of property. This adjustment may or may not reduce your taxable value by the same percentage. Since the adjustment was applied prior to any other benefits, the amounts of things like exemptions and assessment caps may have changed significantly from your original TRIM Notice. Please review the Notice carefully and contact us with any questions.

Finally, if you disagree with the adjustment or the determination we have made, you can file a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. The date for filing a petition with the Value Adjustment Board is October 19th, 2009. Please click on the VAB Procedures button from our home page for more information.

As always, please continue to check our website at www.leepa.org for the latest information and updates regarding the Chinese drywall issue.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

September 8, 2009

To All Lee County Property Owners Affected by Chinese Drywall:

Please be advised that the deadline for submitting information to support a claim of Chinese drywall has been extended to Friday, September 18, 2009 at 5:00 PM. In order to qualify for an adjustment to your property value, you must provide us documentation that you meet the Case Definition provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) on their website, www.doh.state.fl.us. Click on this link to go to the DOH Self Assessment Guide. You can also get to the Guide using the link on our Chinese drywall web page.

Please continue to check our website at www.leepa.org for the latest information and updates regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

September 8, 2009

Dear Lee County Property Owners:

In my last communication, I advised all taxpayers that have been affected by the defective Chinese drywall that I would research the possibility of providing tax relief to you. Please be advised that the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office is dedicated to properly estimating the effects of Chinese Drywall on your market value. We have reviewed the documentation you have submitted and reviewed the market as appropriate and have come to some conclusions.

The information that is available to us at this time indicates that a 50% reduction should be applied to the Just (Market) value of properties that have provided us with the proper documentation regarding this issue. This adjustment may or may not reduce your taxable value by the same percentage. Proper documentation means that you meet the Florida Department of Health’s Case Definition found on their website: Step-by-Step Self-Assessment Guide for signs that a home may be affected by drywall imported from China. The link is also available from our Chinese drywall main page.

If you qualify for the reduction based upon the documentation you submitted, we will be sending you a revised TRIM notice with your corrected value. If you disagree with the adjustment we have made, you can then file a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. Please check your revised notice for your petition filing deadline.

For those of you that have submitted information, we expect to have available an update about your status in the coming days. If your status cannot be determined by this Office based upon the information you have provided, we will be contacting you to request either a field inspection or further documentation. Please bear in mind that we will be actively reviewing any new information that is presented to us. However, September 18, 2009 is the last day to file a timely petition with the Value Adjustment Board to contest your value if you do not agree with your value or with the action we have taken regarding your property.

Please check our website at www.leepa.org for the latest information and updates regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Wilkinson, CFA
Lee County Property Appraiser

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