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?

Brenda Snipes Flashback: Over 1000 Broward Residents Registered To Vote Using UPS Store Addresses

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED November 2013 at media trackers.org

More than 1,000 registered voters in Broward County unlawfully listed United Parcel Service (UPS)  boxes as the address where they live, official records show.

According to Florida Statute 97.053, voter applicants must provide their “legal residence address.” The official Florida Voter Registration form specifically asks for “Legal Residence-no P.O. Box.” On the Broward Supervisor of Elections website, citizens are told valid applications must include, “Full Name, Date of Birth, Address of Legal Residence (address where you live), Florida Drivers License number or Florida ID card, or the last four digits of Social Security number and signature.”

Despite the clear instructions, a Media Trackers Florida investigation found 1,128 registered voters in Broward County listed a UPS box as the place where they live.

4613 North University Drive is the address of UPS Store #3748, located at the Pine Ridge Square shopping center. Forty-six people are registered to vote at this address. More than half of them voted last November.

Also in Coral Springs, there are 20 active voters registered at UPS Store #3996 on Coral Ridge Drive. Another Coral Springs UPS Store has 40 active voters.

A review of voter records show the problem exists at UPS Stores throughout Broward County. Sixty-three active voters are registered at a UPS Store in Hollywood. Sixty-eight active voters are registered to vote at the UPS Store in Fort Lauderdale. The Hallandale Beach UPS Store has 115 registered voters. Voters unlawfully registered at each location likely cast ballots during the November 2012 elections.

A spokesperson for the Broward County elections office said the system for new applicants will raise a flag if it detects a non-residential address. The spokesperson said the Supervisor of Elections office also periodically tries to identify voters using non-residential addresses. When election officials discover a registered voter listing a non-residential address, they send the voter a letter asking him or her to resolve the matter. Nevertheless, more than 1,000 people remain unlawfully registered to vote at UPS stores throughout Broward County.

TV Commercial Hits Broward Commissioner Dale Holness On Phony Residency Claims

A clever new commercial from State Senator Chris Smith hits controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness on his phony residency claims. Both men are seeking the District 9 seat on the Broward County Commission. Three years ago, this reporter exposed Holness’ false claims to reside in the district he represents. The evidence showed Holness lived outside the district he represents, though Article II, Section 2.01 A(3) of the Broward County Charter clearly states each commissioner “must be a resident of the particular district upon election.”

Holness claimed he lived in a run-down Lauderhill townhouse near the Florida Turnpike.

In May 2013, records from the Broward County Supervisor of Elections (SOE), stated Holness was registered to vote within District 9 by claiming to live in a small, older 940-square foot townhome in the Royal Oaks townhome development at 2630 N.W. 52nd Avenue in Lauderhill. Property records from the Broward County Property Appraiser (BCPA) show Holmes owns the small home but does not list it as his primary residence for his homestead tax exemption.

Property records listed the mailing address for Holness’ home as 4325 West Sunrise Blvd in Lauderhill. This is the business address for All Broward Realty, Inc., a company owned by Holness.

As Media Trackers Florida reported, the 2006 Central Lauderhill Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) master plan shows Lauderhill officials targeted the Royal Oaks for a dramatic makeover funded by federal and state grants. The plan says Royal Oaks is in “disrepair and in need of landscaping upkeep.” The entire neighborhood was part of an ambitious plan to build parks and improve roads and sewers. The Royal Oaks neighborhood was “identified as properties suitable for acquisition, demolition and redevelopment[.]”

As vice mayor of Lauderhill in 2006, Holness wrote the Central Lauderhill CRA master plan. Florida Department of State records show Holness has been an official of the Royal Oaks Condominium Association since 2000.

One month after our story, Bob Norman of Local 10 News visited Holness’ townhouse. Norman described the unit as, “A small run-down housing unit in Lauderhill stacked to the ceiling with furniture and boxes. A realtor’s locked box hangs from the door knob. The refrigerator isn’t plugged in and its door is wide open.”

“Nobody lives there,” said Herbert Fray, a handyman who tends the yards there.

Seeking answers, Bob Norman visited Holness at the Broward Government Center.

“Well, sir, we went to that home and there’s no way you live there. Do you live in your district?” asked Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman.

“I do,” Holness replied before leaving without answering any more questions.

Since those reports, Holness and his wife have moved to a home in the upscale Plantation neighborhood surrounding the Fort Lauderdale Country Club.

SMITH COMMERCIAL TAKES ON RESIDENCY

Chris Smith’s new ad takes on Holness’ residency issue by giving viewers a tour of all the places Smith has lived. Smith visits the homes he grew up in, the schools he attended and the home he currently lives in with his family. Smith points out that all of these homes are located in District 9.