Wakulla County commissioners vote on hiring freeze amid incorrect property value assessment
CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) - Wakulla County commissioners voted Monday to freeze the new-hire process, after an incorrect property value assessment threw off the budget more than $2 million.
“The county hasn’t lost 2.4 million,” said commission chair Ralph Thomas. “We’re just not getting as much revenue as we thought we were.”
The vote came during an emergency commission meeting Monday to discuss how the county will move forward.
County commissioners originally approved hiring nine deputies, nine firefighters, and eight county positions for the new fiscal year. Thomas said those positions haven’t been filled, and not hiring those people will help recover about $1.6 million in planned spending.
“That’s going to control the bulk of the money that we have to make up,” said Thomas.
The original issue was discovered by the Wakulla County tax collector last week, according to property appraiser Ed Brimner. He said an employee from his office mistakenly recorded one lot on L M Street as 41,000 lots, which caused the value of that property to be more than $300 million.
The county anticipated getting $2.4 million from that property, and the school district was expecting about $1.6 million.
As a result, the audit committee has now agreed to meet monthly, instead of quarterly. Commissioners also agreed to wait until the first quarter of this fiscal year is complete before making any final decisions.
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