INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Raising eyebrows and a perplexing question in Indian Rocks Beach is a letter sent by Andy Salzman, the city’s lawyer, to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, questioning procedures by the Pinellas County Appraiser’s Office.
Salzman’s April 12 letter also raises the questions of for whose benefit the letter was sent, and Salzman’s knowledge of jurisdictions within the state governmental framework.
As to the first question, at this point, who knows?
On the second, Joslyn Wilson, an assistant attorney general, responding to Salzman from Tallahassee April 20, set Salzman straight and gave him a brief course in Florida law, at least as it applies to public officials in the context of Salzman’s inappropriate missive.
Salzman had asked, “May the Property Appraiser of Pinellas County arbitrarily determine the amount of homestead allowed on a duplex; (and) What formula or documentation does the Property Appraiser need to use to make a determination as to the percentage of property which shall be homesteaded in a duplex?”
The questions were predicated on a fact situation that Salzman set forth in his letter that posited – “The Pinellas County Property Appraiser has determined that a duplex, which may be rented, is given a 60% Homestead Exemption. Upon request, there was no statutory basis or rule to adopt this policy.”
Wilson, the respondent to Salzman’s letter, straightened out the IRB city lawyer on statutory law as it applied to his questions.
“I must advise you that this office is precluded from commenting upon this matter at this time,” Wilson wrote. “The authority of the Attorney General to issue opinions is prescribed by statute and is limited to public officials on questions relating to the requesting officer’s own official duties.”
The Wilson answer concluded with: “Thus, this office will not comment at the request of one public officer about the duties of another public officer.
“Your request involves duties and responsibilities of the county Property Appraiser. In the absence of a request from the Property Appraiser, this office must decline to comment on this matter.”
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