Tag Archives: bcpa

Broward Mayor Dale Holness Fails To Pay $17,000 Property Tax Bill, Two Homes Almost Put On Auction Block

Broward Mayor Dale Holness Isn’t Paying Property Taxes On Time, Again

Broward Mayor Dale Holness owes Broward County more than $17,000 in delinquent property taxes. According to tax records, Mayor Holness has failed to pay 2019 property taxes on six of the seven properties he owns in Fort Lauderdale and Lauderhill. Two of his properties, both Lauderhill townhomes, were so delinquent that both homes were subject to public auction proceedings.

And this is not the first time Dale Holness’ failure to pay property taxes made headlines.

In May 2013, this reporter revealed Dale Holness owed more than $13,000 in property taxes. When asked about his failure to pay his tax bills, Holness was nonchalant about the matter.

Holness told the Sun-Sentinel his paltry $92,000 County Commission salary barely covered expenses for his seven children.”I’m paying it as I can,” Holness said. “I have different responsibilities. I have children, I don’t neglect my children. I’ve been helping them because they have had a tough time and even though some [of them] are grown … I still have the responsibility.”

Since Holness was so delinquent, his property taxes were sold in tax certificate process. The Sun-Sentinel explained at a tax certificate sale, “investors compete to pay the tax bills for the owners, bidding for an interest rate that will be owed by the delinquent taxpayer. The investor gambles on the eventual payoff from the taxpayer: If the property owner pays up, the investor pockets the interest. If the owner doesn’t pay, the investor can move forward with trying to acquire the property at auction.”

To Dale Holness, there was no shame in having tax certificates sold on his properties. He told the Sun-Sentinel, “The money still goes into the tax coffers. It does cost me more. It’s like a loan.”

Seven years later, Dale Holness has tax certificates on six of his properties. His delinquent tax bill is a mere $17,848 and change.

Yet records show two of Holness’ properties went into the more serious “tax deed application” process. Tax collector records show two Lauderhill townhouses owned by Holness did not pay 2016, 2017 and 2018 property taxes. According to the Broward County website, “All of the taxes included in the [tax deed] application must be paid by a cashier’s check in one lump sum. Amounts are subject to change as interest and additional fees are added.” If the taxes are not paid, “On average, it can take up to 16 months, after a Tax Deed Application is submitted, before the property is scheduled for sale.”

In 2013, Holness blamed tenants and a poor economy for his delinquent tax payments. Did he have the same tenants in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019?

Perhaps County leaders should revamp the tax certificate process to keep wealthy landowners from using tax certificates as nearly no-interest loans? With plenty of Broward homeowners and tenants in need of some relief right now, wealthy landowners like Dale Holness should be at the bottom of the help list, no?

Broward Elections Office “Private Contract” Attorney Had No Contract For 12 Years

Broward SOE lawyer Burnadette Norris-Weeks

Broward SOE lawyer Burnadette Norris-Weeks

According to the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE), Dr. Brenda Snipes’ “private contract” attorney operated without a contract for twelve years. Burnadette Norris-Weeks has been general counsel for SOE since 2003. The contract, provided by SOE, shows Norris-Weeks signed the “Attorney-Client Fee Contract” on January 1, 2015. Dr. Snipes did not sign the contract until May 14, 2015.

The contract states Norris-Weeks handles, “all legal matters as the assigned General Counsel for [Snipes].” Norris-Weeks receives a flat fee of $5,000 per month. The flat fee does not cover, “matters requiring travel outside of Broward County or litigation matters filed in Federal Court, in any court of appeals or administrative proceeding.” For those matters, SOE must pay Norris-Weeks $175 per hour.

Even with a contract, Snipes’ arrangement with Norris-Weeks is unique among Broward’s Constitutional Officers. Attorney Mila Schwartzreich is employed by Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish. Vanessa Steinerts is employed by Broward Clerk of Courts Howard Forman. Ron Gunzburger heads a team of lawyers employed by Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. Norris-Weeks is not even listed on the SOE website.

Invoices obtained by REDBROWARD show Norris-Weeks was paid nearly $175,000 between 2012 and 2014. She billed SOE $175 per hour to answer questions from SOE employees and respond to emails from local political consultants. She even billed the same hourly rate to attend election canvassing meetings. During this three year period, Norris-Weeks earned thousands of dollars handling cases in Broward County courtrooms.


In July 2014, REDBROWARD reported Burnadette Norris-Weeks fought to keep non-Democrats from voting in the Broward Commission District 2 primary. In hearings to exclude bogus write-in candidate Tyron Francois from the ballot, Norris-Weeks gave Judge Sandra Perlman a myriad of excuses of why it was too late to open the August 26 primary to Republican and Independent voters. On July 11, Francois testified he did not live in District 2 at the time of qualifying. Francois admitted under oath that he knew Dale Holness’ daughter. Superlawyer William Scherer produced a photograph of Francois and Damara Holness.

RED BROWARD reported Burnadette Norris-Weeks is a longtime supporter of Dale Holness. In October 2012, she made a $500 contribution to Holness’ re-election campaign. Weeks later, Holness was a guest at Norris-Weeks “holiday party.” RED BROWARD obtained pictures of the party Norris-Weeks posted on Facebook. Norris-Weeks took exception to the reporting of her support for Holness. In a conversation with a Daily Broward contributor, she questioned why we did not report her contributions to other Broward Commissioners.  Norris-Weeks said, “Last time I checked, there was no prohibition on giving a contribution and I fail to understand the link between the contribution and my responsibilities to my client as an attorney.”

Invoices submitted by Norris-Weeks show she was paid $5,057.50 for the two-day Francois hearing in July. Invoices related to the Francois matter, submitted between June and October 2014, total nearly $40,000 worth of taxpayer dollars.

REDBROWARD asked Dr. Snipes to explain why she did not have a contract with her private contract attorney for twelve years. We asked Dr. Snipes why she suddenly signed a contract in May 2015.

Dr. Snipes has not responded to our request for comment.