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PETITION: Save Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach

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https://www.change.org/p/bill-nelson-save-pensacola-beach-and-navarre-beach?recruiter=333356943&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_content=fb_share_post_copy_6%3Acontrol




There’s a multi-billion dollar land grab moving through Congress.

The Senate is working on S. 1073, the Escambia County Land Conveyance Act. The purpose of the bill is “To authorize Escambia County, Florida, to convey certain property that was formerly part of Santa Rosa Island National Monument and that was conveyed to Escambia County subject to restrictions on use and reconveyance.”

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz has passed legislation in the U.S. House to sell off Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach to private developers. The land is currently protected by a 1946 Congressional Land Conveyance that guarantees all leases on the beach belong to and must benefit the public. Gaetz' bill would take away these public land rights. Senator Marco Rubio has introduced the bill in the Senate, where it is currently in the Energy & Natural Resources Committee.

The Public gains nothing and will lose Billions of dollars in valuable assets.

The take-away here is that, with the demise of thousands of leases on Santa Rosa Island, the biggest winners are the tax coffers of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, and real estate developers. The losers are the residents of northwest Florida and the island itself.   Barrier islands form to protect coastal areas. They are critical to healthy environments. Intact islands are important protection from rising waters, tides, and storm damage, so artificially breaching a barrier island is rarely good ecological practice.

This is not a partisan issue.

This would set a horrific precedent by reversing DEEDS and ownership to Publicly held lands.

This is a public vs. private, citizen vs. developer, greed vs. public good issue.
If this could happen to Santa Rosa Island, which is entirely within the boundary of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and owned by the citizens of Escambia County, it could happen anywhere.

--Indivisible NWFL

*************



Last edited by Floridatexan on 8/4/2017, 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Stupid on Steroids. Giving fee simple ownership to leaseholders is increasing their ownership from about 90% equitable title to 100% fee simple title. The couple hundred dollars of lease payments which folks think government will be losing will be gained in real estate taxation. This inarticulate statement from Bill Nelson ignores that zoning laws which are still in place, and at least in regard to Navarre Beach every lot is zoned, and if a developer wanted to build on those current leaseholds with a use which is consistent with the zoning, they can right now. In the late forties it was given to private interests. To now argue almost 70 years later that going from 90% to 100% ownership is a big give away is absurd. If Senator Nelson has an example of a specific parcel within this bill which can now be exploited by a developer, I wish he could give an example rather than firing up folks to think that the beach itself is being sold.

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2seaoat wrote:Stupid on Steroids.  Giving fee simple ownership to leaseholders is increasing their ownership from about 90% equitable title to 100% fee simple title.  The couple hundred dollars of lease payments which folks think government will be losing will be gained in real estate taxation.  This inarticulate statement from Bill Nelson ignores that zoning laws which are still in place, and at least in regard to Navarre Beach every lot is zoned, and if a developer wanted to build on those current leaseholds with a use which is consistent with the zoning, they can right now.  In the late forties it was given to private interests.  To now argue almost 70 years later that going from 90% to 100% ownership is a big give away is absurd.   If Senator Nelson has an example of a specific parcel within this bill which can now be exploited by a developer, I wish he could give an example rather than firing up folks to think that the beach itself is being sold.

I was wrong. Nelson did not sponsor the petition; he's actually co-sponsor of the bill. However:

http://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Ownership_of_Santa_Rosa_Island

Ownership of Santa Rosa Island

Santa Rosa Island was deeded by the U.S. government to Escambia County in 1946 with the condition that land be not be resold, only leased. As a result, all of the homes, businesses and high-rises on Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach sit on parcels that have been leased (or sub-leased) from Escambia County on 99-year contracts; the county remains the sole landowner. This has raised several debates regarding the levying of ad valorum property taxes on the island and the benefits of leases versus private ownership.

Gov-icon.png This government-related article is a stub. You can help Pensapedia by expanding it.
Background[edit]
Since the 1821 transfer of Florida to the United States, the 8,000-acre Santa Rosa Island has changed hands several times. The entire island (except for the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery Post at Fort Pickens) was sold by the War Department to Escambia County in 1927 for about $10,000, and the county took possession of the deed two years later, on April 19, 1929. Ownership reverted back to the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1939 when the county, still reeling from the Great Depression, could not afford to develop it. In 1946, due to the efforts of Congressman Bob Sikes, the portion of the island between Pickens and Navarre Beach was transferred back to Escambia County. (The remaining easternmost three miles, known as Okaloosa Island, were deeded to Okaloosa County for $4,000 the same year.) The following conditions were specified in Escambia County's 1947 Deed of Conveyance:

…the above described land shall be retained by the said Escambia County and be used by it for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest or be leased by it from time to time in whole or in part or parts to such persons and for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest and upon such terms and conditions as it shall fix and always be subject to regulation by said county whether leased or not leased, but never to be otherwise disposed of or conveyed by it;…[1]

Navarre Beach[edit]

In 1956 Escambia County leased the entirety of Navarre Beach to neighboring Santa Rosa County for 99 years, at a rate of $100 a year, on the condition that Santa Rosa would build a second bridge to the island. Originally the land was still within the boundaries of Escambia County, but in 1992 State Representative Bo Johnson worked with State Senate Dean W. D. Childers to redraw county lines to include Navarre Beach within Santa Rosa County, though it remained under Escambia County ownership.[2] A 1993 resolution by the Escambia County Commission offered to support Santa Rosa if they sought a deed of ownership.

In 2003, Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Goodin renewed calls to allow private ownership of property on the island, which if approved by Congress would be done with a one-time title transfer fee.[3] Later that year, Escambia County Commissioner Tom Banjanin advocated redrawing county lines to take back Navarre Beach if leaseholders were granted title to their properties. "I can't see giving away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property that belongs to Escambia County residents," he said.[4] "I move to get the county line moved back again so we'll get those mega-bucks when they become available."[5] His motion failed for a lack of a second, but the Commission voted 3-2 at the same August 21 meeting for a resolution opposing Santa Rosa's plan.

References[edit]
William L. Post. Deceit Beach: The True Story of Deception by Escambia County and their agent, the Santa Rosa Island Authority, and how the Florida Supreme Court failed to protect the victims. Trent's Prints & Publishing, 2008.
Jump up ↑ Santa Rosa Island — A History (Part 1)
Jump up ↑ J. Earle Bowden. "Neither county putting 'public' first." Pensacola News Journal, August 30, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Official: Give island residents title to land." Pensacola News Journal, February 6, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Escambia opposition could derail Santa Rosa's bid to grant beach titles." Pensacola News Journal, August 2, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Banjanin: Expand county." Pensacola News Journal, August 22, 2003.

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Floridatexan wrote:
2seaoat wrote:Stupid on Steroids.  Giving fee simple ownership to leaseholders is increasing their ownership from about 90% equitable title to 100% fee simple title.  The couple hundred dollars of lease payments which folks think government will be losing will be gained in real estate taxation.  This inarticulate statement from Bill Nelson ignores that zoning laws which are still in place, and at least in regard to Navarre Beach every lot is zoned, and if a developer wanted to build on those current leaseholds with a use which is consistent with the zoning, they can right now.  In the late forties it was given to private interests.  To now argue almost 70 years later that going from 90% to 100% ownership is a big give away is absurd.   If Senator Nelson has an example of a specific parcel within this bill which can now be exploited by a developer, I wish he could give an example rather than firing up folks to think that the beach itself is being sold.

I was wrong.  Nelson did not sponsor the petition; he's actually co-sponsor of the bill.  However:

http://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Ownership_of_Santa_Rosa_Island

Ownership of Santa Rosa Island

Santa Rosa Island was deeded by the U.S. government to Escambia County in 1946 with the condition that land be not be resold, only leased. As a result, all of the homes, businesses and high-rises on Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach sit on parcels that have been leased (or sub-leased) from Escambia County on 99-year contracts; the county remains the sole landowner. This has raised several debates regarding the levying of ad valorum property taxes on the island and the benefits of leases versus private ownership.

Gov-icon.png This government-related article is a stub. You can help Pensapedia by expanding it.
Background[edit]
Since the 1821 transfer of Florida to the United States, the 8,000-acre Santa Rosa Island has changed hands several times. The entire island (except for the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery Post at Fort Pickens) was sold by the War Department to Escambia County in 1927 for about $10,000, and the county took possession of the deed two years later, on April 19, 1929. Ownership reverted back to the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1939 when the county, still reeling from the Great Depression, could not afford to develop it. In 1946, due to the efforts of Congressman Bob Sikes, the portion of the island between Pickens and Navarre Beach was transferred back to Escambia County. (The remaining easternmost three miles, known as Okaloosa Island, were deeded to Okaloosa County for $4,000 the same year.) The following conditions were specified in Escambia County's 1947 Deed of Conveyance:

…the above described land shall be retained by the said Escambia County and be used by it for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest or be leased by it from time to time in whole or in part or parts to such persons and for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest and upon such terms and conditions as it shall fix and always be subject to regulation by said county whether leased or not leased, but never to be otherwise disposed of or conveyed by it;…[1]

Navarre Beach[edit]

In 1956 Escambia County leased the entirety of Navarre Beach to neighboring Santa Rosa County for 99 years, at a rate of $100 a year, on the condition that Santa Rosa would build a second bridge to the island. Originally the land was still within the boundaries of Escambia County, but in 1992 State Representative Bo Johnson worked with State Senate Dean W. D. Childers to redraw county lines to include Navarre Beach within Santa Rosa County, though it remained under Escambia County ownership.[2] A 1993 resolution by the Escambia County Commission offered to support Santa Rosa if they sought a deed of ownership.

In 2003, Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Goodin renewed calls to allow private ownership of property on the island, which if approved by Congress would be done with a one-time title transfer fee.[3] Later that year, Escambia County Commissioner Tom Banjanin advocated redrawing county lines to take back Navarre Beach if leaseholders were granted title to their properties. "I can't see giving away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property that belongs to Escambia County residents," he said.[4] "I move to get the county line moved back again so we'll get those mega-bucks when they become available."[5] His motion failed for a lack of a second, but the Commission voted 3-2 at the same August 21 meeting for a resolution opposing Santa Rosa's plan.

References[edit]
William L. Post. Deceit Beach: The True Story of Deception by Escambia County and their agent, the Santa Rosa Island Authority, and how the Florida Supreme Court failed to protect the victims. Trent's Prints & Publishing, 2008.
Jump up ↑ Santa Rosa Island — A History (Part 1)
Jump up ↑ J. Earle Bowden. "Neither county putting 'public' first." Pensacola News Journal, August 30, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Official: Give island residents title to land." Pensacola News Journal, February 6, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Escambia opposition could derail Santa Rosa's bid to grant beach titles." Pensacola News Journal, August 2, 2003.
Jump up ↑ "Banjanin: Expand county." Pensacola News Journal, August 22, 2003.

This is one of those entanglements that only by an act of Congress . . . . .

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Again.....it is stupid on steroids for anybody to complain about long term leases which are now properly paying property taxes going from equitable title to fee simple title. As soon as the decision was to plat and divide individual legal parcels as described in the leases, those areas were excluded from public use, and to extinguish those rights and to take back those leaseholds would require due process to those leaseholders. As it was the intention of the original choice of a leasehold, as opposed to the eastern end of the island where the original choice from the county was fee simple, the issue of equitable title and real estate taxes was not envisioned. However, like airports all over America which are public owned property which execute long term leases to private airlines, local governments were tired of private parties using taxpayer services and not contributing to those services with real estate taxes against those leaseholds on government property which normally would be excluded from taxation. So now, like the east end of the island, the feds are allowing the transfer to fee simple. No backroom deals, no taking something from the public, just the usual ignorance which feeds into paranoia that somebody is going to corruptly get something for nothing. The leasehold taxpayers rightfully can beg to differ.

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Also, the false idea being planted is that somehow Santa Rosa portion of the Island should not be given fee simple, and Escambia should somehow have that interest assigned back to Escambia.  Would folks be suggesting that fee simple for just Escambia and not Navarre?  This would be immediately shot down in court under the equal protection clause, but it also falsely assumes that Escambia could reverse of the original sub lease with Santa Rosa.   All of this is simply stupid, and just like the folks who spewed so much poison about Maritime Park fed by ignorance and preconceived ideas of outsiders getting something for nothing.

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2seaoat wrote:Also, the false idea being planted is that somehow Santa Rosa portion of the Island should not be given fee simple, and Escambia should somehow have that interest assigned back to Escambia.  Would folks be suggesting that fee simple for just Escambia and not Navarre?  This would be immediately shot down in court under the equal protection clause, but it also falsely assumes that Escambia could reverse of the original sub lease with Santa Rosa.   All of this is simply stupid, and just like the folks who spewed so much poison about Maritime Park fed by ignorance and preconceived ideas of outsiders getting something for nothing.

What would stop the sublease from being reversed? Why should Escambia County give this land away when it was intended to benefit the citizens of Escambia County...at least the public portion? You're advocating for a land grab, just as I said. Leases are one thing; private ownership is another. Now tell me about the stadium that Pensacola just bought, hook, line and sinker.

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Again, you miss entirely the public purpose of the original conveyance which was interpreted as developing the island by platting the same and transferring interests to private individuals. The federal government was good with that purpose and where it gave fee simple on the eastern end of the island the western end had the 90% of fee simple rights in leaseholds which allowed the courts to find they could be taxed. You cannot grab something that was given seventy years ago.

In regard to Maritime Park, it has been the success and cash cow I predicted when I started countering the same undercurrent which seems to involve anybody outside the area developing property. In less than thirty years this beautiful park will be paid for entirely by lease payments and increased economic activity and sales tax. I call it the carpetbagger syndrome, and like the fireman I described from Iowa who hated orientals at the casino because they were different and they had money, this inferiority complex continues where any attempt to "economically develop" the area by outside folks is seen as being improper or dishonest. I hear regularly the derision of people who live in Portifino by mainlanders as many are yankees, diverse, and wealthy.

There is no basis to categorize a routine fee simple deed to leaseholders as a land grab. It is entirely framed in ignorance fueled by deep seated resentment.

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Floridatexan wrote:Why should Escambia County give this land away when it was intended to benefit the citizens of Escambia County...at least the public portion?

You're missing the point and the facts entirely, FT.  Escambia would be converting defined leaseholds to deeded properties, but ONLY the defined leaseholds, NONE of the "public portion," which will remain public and be FURTHER protected in perpetuity than it currently is on Pensacola Beach.  

Believe it or not -- I have this on authority of Grover Robinson -- if the county wanted to today it could actually lease out the entire beachfront on Pensacola Beach, and then those leaseholder(s) could rightfully bar passage over their leasehold beaches as trespassing, just as any renter on the mainland can do on his rented lot/house/whatever.  This new legislation will FOREVER BAR ANY SUCH THING as all existing public accessed lands including the beachfronts will be protected in perpetuity.

Also, NOTHING is being "given away" that the county citizens already  had absolutely no right to utilize except as invited guests.  You have no right to cross my leased land without my permission now and you won't if it's owned.  IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE - you can't lose what you never had.   Again  what you WILL have is greater protection of all the existing public beachfronts, conservation areas, accesses, parking areas, etc.

The position of the protesters is extremely shortsighted and, frankly, ignorant as all get-out.

The Navarre BCC refused to sign onto the bill's public lands protection as they wanted to keep open the possibility of a pass being cut to the Gulf in the future.  They'll never get approval for that anyway, but many business people in the area insisted on leaving that possibility out there.  Stupid, IMHO.   But then Navarre Beach only has about 10% of the couple of thousand acres PB has in conservation and public access, so I guess they just don't think about all that quite as much.  I don't think they did the average SRC citizen any good, but it probably won't make any difference in the long run.  Again, if SRC intended to lease out/block the actual beachfront, they could've already done it long ago.

In any event, get ready for some pushback to the protesters.  Their position is entirely born out of fear and paranoia, period - NOT facts or reality.

FT, you said you wanted the leaseholders to have title, so please don't get sucked up in the wild hysteria.  There are no bogeymen here, no "land grab," and the ownership change of the DEFINED lots and improvements absolutely impacts no public lands or accesses except to protect them further.  Zoning remains unchanged, right to sell remains unchanged....it's all completely transparent to the casual beach visitor.  

Seaoat is right; I'm sorry, but these protesters are really ignorant and totally misguided. I partially fault the county commissioners, as I've been begging for better education of the citizenry in preparation for this likely outcome ever since 2004 when taxes were levied on PB.

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Floridatexan wrote:What would stop the sublease from being reversed?

I may've missed something -- been occupied for a couple of days -- but have no idea why the lease (NOT a sublease at all, but a primary lease) of Navarre Beach from Escambia to Santa Rosa is even under discussion here, but this lease, signed in 1956, is a valid contract and can't be vacated except by agreement of both parties, unless one is in default.

Under the proposed title bill, Escambia must offer title of that beach area to Santa Rosa and, presuming it's accepted (why wouldn't it be??), part of the documents will doubtless be a mutual agreement by both counties to discontinue that lease agreement.

Again, am I missing something??

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Just one more point before I head to bed (long overdue):  please think about this, FT:

If the PB leaseholders themselves -- the majority of whom do not live Gulf Front and therefore rely on the exact same public accesses as any county citizen visiting the beach -- if THEY are not concerned about the effects of this legislation on access for themselves, right where they live, where they've paid big bucks to reside near sand and sea...they why should the mainlanders be worried about it??

This is all completely senseless.

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I told you there was a quid pro quo between Childers and Johnson before they both went to prison. Seaoat and Linda, please tell me what consideration Escambia County receives for this property transfer.

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please tell me what consideration Escambia County receives for this property transfer.


The transfer happened twenty years ago plus, and it was a cost savings to Escambia County to save the expenses to provide public services to Navarre when they were getting hardly any fuel tax, sales tax, and measly lease payments. The consideration at the time was getting rid of a liability which other Escambia taxpayers were paying.

The current fee simple transfer needs no consideration because the leasehold owners are now paying taxes and were deemed by the court to have equitable title, so all the fee simple deeds do is to provide an equitable resolution to the double taxation of a lease payment and tax payment. Your idea that somehow you can give fee simple to PB and deny it to Navarre leaseholders would never get by an equal protection writ of mandamus which once the congressional bill was passed would force Escambia to transfer the deeds to Navarre Leaseholders. It makes no sense the argument you are making. There was no backroom deal, and I posted the costs which PB shoulders and the cost to Escambia, but the difference is that PB generates huge sales taxes from hotels and restaurants, plus retail which is on the beach. Navarre has four commercial properties and one of them the old Palms restaurant has not reopened, and the Holiday Inn is still under construction which leaves two gas stations convenience stores and a bar by the bridge. The decision by Escambia's commissioners was at the time a cost savings to the County.

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Let me reverse your question and ask you what is being grabbed?

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2seaoat wrote:Let me reverse your question and ask you what is being grabbed?

Escambia Co. leased the land to Santa Rosa Co. in 1956...consideration was (and still is, to my knowledge) $100/yr. We are talking about the difference between leasehold and fee simple ownership by the counties. Escambia is still the owner of record, not Santa Rosa. A leasehold is not the same as ownership.
The way I see it, Escambia is giving up ownership for almost zero remuneration.

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So this is about the loss of $100 a year lease payment?

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Also, please explain what leaseholds on Navarre Beach have not been transferred to private individuals? So I ask the question once again, what is being given up, you talk in the theoretical difference between equitable interest and legal interest, but please be specific......what is being given up?

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Floridatexan wrote:The way I see it, Escambia is giving up ownership for almost zero remuneration.

That's EXACTLY right, FT, they are. And remember: the terms of both the original federal 'gift' of the land to Escambia County in 1947 AND the current proposed bill both insist that Escambia County NOT gain any windfall profits whatsoever from the sale of these lands to anyone. Any compensation they do receive beyond actual cost of paperwork transfer/deed filing etc. must be remitted to the federal government.

So why is this so hard to grasp?

We know that Escambia has no interest in running Navarre Beach, which is why they leased it to SRC long term back in the 1950's. You are not losing ANYTHING you ever had any right to, control of, or return from other than a pittance of rent. So what is your beef, girl?

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Floridatexan wrote:
I told you there was a quid pro quo between Childers and Johnson before they both went to prison.  Seaoat and Linda, please tell me what consideration Escambia County receives for this property transfer.

Presuming you're still talking about Navarre Beach: none (see above). (As to Pensacola Beach the county will receive higher property land tax collections since title will negate the exemption created by the recent Portofino decision as to non-renewable leases.)

BTW I contacted my best sources on beach history, including especially Bill Post, and no one has any recollection or evidence of a quid pro quo -- and Bill has MANY MANY documents if not all of them.  My own memory of there being anything at all was extremely sketchy, and btw had nothing whatsoever to do with the Bridge to Nowhere (Garcon Point) you mentioned earlier.

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RealLindaL wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
I told you there was a quid pro quo between Childers and Johnson before they both went to prison.  Seaoat and Linda, please tell me what consideration Escambia County receives for this property transfer.

Presuming you're still talking about Navarre Beach: none (see above).  (As to Pensacola Beach the county will receive higher property land tax collections since title will negate the exemption created by the recent Portofino decision as to non-renewable leases.)

BTW I contacted my best sources on beach history, including especially Bill Post, and no one has any recollection or evidence of a quid pro quo -- and Bill has MANY MANY documents if not all of them.  My own memory of there being anything at all was extremely sketchy, and btw had nothing whatsoever to do with the Bridge to Nowhere (Garcon Point) you mentioned earlier.

Pensacola Beach is still a part of Escambia Co. I have no problem with fee simple on PB. But Navarre is a different story. Santa Rosa Co. does not own the land...it is leased. I don't know why both of you are not seeing that SRC can't give fee simple to Navarre Beach owners because SRC does not own the land. This bill would give the land to SRC. Escambia Co. would get nothing in return for transferring title to SRC under the terms of this bill...

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Linda has already addressed that they cannot get anything, because it would go to the feds under the restrictions of the original deed and the new bill.  The part you are not understanding is that Escambia is not losing anything.  You have not been able to show a parcel, and amount of money, or anything which would be lost by the leaseholders on Navarre getting fee simple.  Also, under equal protection guarantees the Navarre Beach leaseholders would win in court in a NY second.   This thread just does not make a bit of sense in the real world, and in the abstract, the loss of $100 lease payment a year is simply silly.  I really feel like I am talking about the flat earth.

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Floridatexan wrote:Navarre is a different story.  Santa Rosa Co. does not own the land...it is leased.  I don't know why both of you are not seeing that SRC can't give fee simple to Navarre Beach owners because SRC does not own the land.

Apparently you haven't read the proposed bill, and/or we haven't explained it to you.  The new bill requires that, within two years of its effective date, Escambia must give (not just offer; I mis-spoke in an earlier post) title to Navarre Beach to Santa Rosa County (after which time SRC will be owners and thus able to offer titles to leaseholders, see?).  And no, there's no compensation or consideration for that title passage, for the reasons explained above.

Here is the applicable part of the proposed Senate bill's text, to support everything I just said, OK?  Get it?  "The County" is Escambia:

(c) Conveyance of Land Within Santa Rosa County, Florida.--
           (1) In general.--As a condition of the authority granted to
       the County to convey the non-Federal land under subsection (a),
       all right, title, and interest of the County in and to any
       portion of the non-Federal land that is within the
       jurisdictional boundaries of Santa Rosa County, Florida, shall
       be conveyed by the County to Santa Rosa County, Florida, by the
       date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.
           (2) Requirements.--A conveyance under paragraph (1) shall--
                   (A) be absolute;
                   (B) terminate--
                           (i) any subjugation of Santa Rosa County,
                       Florida, to the County; or
                           (ii) any regulation of Santa Rosa County,
                       Florida, by the County; and
                   (C) be without consideration, except that the
               County may require Santa Rosa County, Florida, to pay
               the actual costs associated with the conveyance of the
               non-Federal land to Santa Rosa County, Florida.

Here's the entire bill if you really want to be in the know:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1073/text?format=txt

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The truth is simple. This bill is an equitable means of correcting the never anticipated double dipping tax and lease payments as a result of the courts finding equitable title in the leaseholds. If you look at the link I provided, folks on PB in reality have been paying the highest government payments for services rendered of any location in the panhandle. Fee simple was always the just way to remedy the unforeseen Court determinations which put an unfair tax and lease burden on leaseholders.

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2seaoat wrote:The truth is simple.  This bill is an equitable means of correcting the never anticipated double dipping tax and lease payments as a result of the courts finding equitable title in the leaseholds.

Just so you know, Sea, the "equitable title" concept was only found in the Navarre Beach case, by SRC county judge Rasmussen. In the Pensacola Beach cases the rulings were based on entirely different findings. The result is the same, except as to the Pensacola Beach leaseholds found not to be virtually automatically renewable as the Navarre Beach leases are; in those cases, only the improvements are taxable, not the land. Long story I don't have time to get into, and it's boring.

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Hearty congrats to WEAR-TV which, on its 10 p.m. news broadcast, covered today's protest on PB by the anti-title forces, but also provided counter-balancing info to refute their position, in the form of a brief interview with the president of the PB Advocates assn and also a written statement from Matt Gaetz explaining that these protesters are seriously misinformed. YESSSS!!

The PNJ, on the other hand, is so obviously TOTALLY biased against title that the beach beat reporter, Melissa, makes virtually no effort to find reasonable counterpoints to the anti-title people, and the headlines the paper uses are always inflammatory with such phrases as "privatizing the beaches." Grrrr.

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