In an unexpected turn, what the Flagler County school district thought was a mere formality before the County Commission turned into a 90-minute grilling by commissioners and a parade of doubt by builders who consider the district’s request to double impact fees ill-thought and ill-timed.
Chris Kocher, a licensed CPA since 2003 and a long-time tax accountant in Bunnell, explains how to handle the fallout from revelations that numerous clients of Robert “Bob” Newsholme’s Flagler Tax Services may have been defrauded.
Innumerable reports by his clients pointing to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud paint a picture of Bob Newsholme, the long-time owner of Flagler Tax Services, as a versatile but clumsy schemer. Newsholme seemed to have boxed himself in in a Ponzi scheme of his own making, hoping to stay ahead of the inevitable reckoning by enlarging his circle of fraud. But as it began to unravel, it unraveled very quickly. But his clients are now left to pick up the pieces–and pay what they owe to the IRS.
The Flagler County School Board on Sept. 7 adopted its property tax rate and $212 million budget for 2021-22. The tax rate, set by lawmakers in Tallahassee, continues a two-and-a-half decade downward trend, to $5.865 per $1,000 in taxable value, down from $6 last year.
The Palm Coast City Council in a disorderly special workshop meeting this evening agreed to fully fund the Flagler County Sheriff’s request for 10 additional deputies for city policing, four more than it had originally budgeted. But that’s as far as it got in agreeing to a new budget. The rest remains a churn of conflicts, setting up a potential showdown between council members at a public hearing on Thursday.
If religious organizations in Manatee County paid property taxes, they would add $8.5 million to the tax revenue of the county annually, or 1.1% of the total, enough to cover, in just one year, the building of three newly proposed emergency medical services stations in the county, along with upgrades of EMS equipment and its 911 service.
A majority of Flagler county commissioners ignored their administrator’s and finance director’s numbers and proposals today and told their staff to find ways to cut $2 million from the county’s own budget while ensuring that the sheriff and other constitutional officers, such as the clerk of court and supervisor of elections, get all the budget increases they’re asking for.
The Palm Coast City Council on Tuesday broke its impasse over a tentative tax rate, approving what for now is the same rate that’s been in effect since 2019, with council members’ pledge to look for ways to reduce it. But that may be difficult with a slew of competing demands in services, including additional sheriff’s deputies, street paving, and other administrative requests.
With most students expected to be in classrooms next month, after many learned online for at least part of the 2020-2021 school year, retailers anticipate a surge in shopping during Florida’s upcoming back-to-school sales tax “holiday.”
The Palm Coast City Council was required today merely to set a tentative tax rate for next year, a routine step. It could lower the rate at will over the next few weeks. An ideological brawl prevented a vote, deferring the decision to August and effectively preventing the administration from refining the budget until then.