FORT LAUDERDALE – In Broward County, more than a month after property taxes were due, Local 10 Investigator Ross Palombo found several multi-million dollar estates that still hadn't paid.
At 1612 W. Lake Drive in Fort Lauderdale, the owner of a 7-bedroom, 6-bathroom, $7.7-million estate was late in paying the county $155,210 in taxes. He wasn't at the door when Palombo arrived, but later called him by phone to say, "Wow." That's all he would say. He later paid the bill and the $4,665.68 in extra interest and fees for paying late.
Nearby, at 2626 Delmar Place, an 11-bedroom, 13-bath, $5.2-million Fort Lauderdale home owes the county $103,495.
In Parkland at 8750 NW 68th Court, the bill for a $3.5-million estate comes to $ 68,755.
"It's a lot of money!" Claudio Manicone said.
At Broward's Records, Taxes, and Treasury Division, Manicone helps collect $2,916,588,123 on 736, 2002 properties.
He says about $130-Million in taxes haven't been paid this year.
That's a lot of money to homeowners like Mike Cosgrove. He paid his property tax on his much smaller home and can't understand why anyone would pay late.
"He should tell the police and fire why there's no paycheck or pay raise," he said while pointing to a delinquent home.
Property taxes do pay for most county services like police, fire, and education.
The county always gets its money in the end, though. By June, taxes that are unpaid go to auction as "certificates." The county then recovers its money. Those who buy the certificates then can charge high interest rates to the homeowners when they finally do pay. If they don't pay within two years, the certificate owners can then try and get the house put up for auction.