January 04, 2017 Article

The Strange (Property Tax) World of Leasehold Communities and Equitable Ownership

Several cases in Florida have shown these lessees attempting to avoid ownership in order not to pay ad valorem real estate taxes

Ralph H. Schofield Jr.

In so-called leasehold communities, where government or Native American land is leased out perpetually in lieu of deed, questions arise for the homeowner as to whether that hefty mortgage really gives him or her undisturbed dominion in the property. Usually, these lessees want to be treated like owners, but several cases in Florida have shown these lessees attempting to avoid ownership in order not to pay ad valorem real estate taxes. Those efforts to own tax free have been largely unsuccessful, until now.

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