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Court opts for lower tax assessment for complex on contaminated land

Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 19, 2000


TAMPA -- The company that owns a Temple Terrace apartment complex built on contaminated land won a round in court Friday in its battle for a lower tax assessment.

The state's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that Hillsborough Property Appraiser Rob Turner failed to prove that a proposed tax bill of $51,000 was justified for the Normandy Park apartments.

The 144-unit complex was built by Gulf Coast Recycling Inc. on land it had once used for discarded car batteries. Gulf Coast claims the cost of cleaning up the contamination makes the land worthless, despite having an apartment complex on the site.

The county Value Adjustment Board ruled in favor of the company and set the tax bill at $100.

Turner appealed that decision, and a circuit judge upheld his proposed assessment.

Friday's 2nd DCA ruling overturned the circuit judge.

The site is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list. The cost of cleaning it up is estimated at $2.5-million.

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