Citizen vs. Property Appraiser battle plays out at Hillsborough County Commission meeting

The Value Adjustment Board was created by Florida Statute 194.015 to provide citizens a forum to address complaints in the property appraisal process. In September Turner wrote a letter to the County Commissioners expressing his concern regarding Sara Cucchi's appointment to the Value Adjustment Board. Turner's concern was that last year she had been involved in a lawsuit made by the property appraiser's office against the state Department of Revenue.

During the court case Cucchi had supported the Department of Revenue; yet at the time, she was not a member of the VAB Board. Turner's representative argued that Cucchi has or might have a bias against Turner and the property appraiser's office as a whole because of her previous and continual legal involvement with said office, "we are concerned about a conflict of interests" said William Shepherd, the representative of Turner at Wednesday's BOCC meeting.

Sara Cucchi's representative replied that Cucchi had not yet been appointed to the VAB Board while she was in litigation with the appraiser's office, she was not participating in the appeal of the case. He also said that "the case was about rule making" and did not deal with a specific property and thus there can be no conflict of interests. And finally that "the property appraiser's office is not allowed to influence any part of the process of the Adjustment Value Board" and Turner's interference was out of line.

Several community members also spoke in favor of Cucchi, saying that she was well qualified for her position and acted in a fair and unbiased manner.

After the hearing the the County Commissioners decided that Cucchi's appointment was valid and that her previous legal involvement with the appraiser's office was not sufficient reason to remove her from the board. They unanimously and emphatically supported Sara Cucchi and reaffirmed her appointment hoping that she will "continue to be a representative for the people."

  • Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner

Today the Hillsborough County Commission's voted unanimously in favor of reaffirming the appointment of Sara Cucchi to the Value Adjustment Board after Rob Turner, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, questioned the appointment.

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