He claims to be a rancher, but Broward County officials don’t believe him.
And that could cost him a bundle!
Because only real, Old McDonald-style farmers can benefit from basement-low property-tax rates.
And as far as investigators at Broward’s property appraiser’s office are concerned, Johnson’s trying to play the system!
Johnson, 42, the Marlins’ most prolific hitter in the 1997 World Series, owns 4.7 acres of vacant land in Southwest Ranches since 2003, according to records.
Since then, he’s been paying between $12,000 and $17,000 in property taxes, depending on the year, records show.
Suddenly in 2011, Johnson applied for, and received, a coveted agricultural property exemption after claiming to be using the acreage to conduct a “commercial agricultural activity.”
As a result, his yearly levy dipped to $275.99 in 2011.
And $283.73 last year.
Inspectors, however, checked into Johnson’s claim for 2013. They did notice cows grazing, and took photos for their file. But they couldn’t document that the animals belong to Johnson and make him money. So his exemption was denied.
His tax bill for 2013: $12,356!
Johnson’s wife, Rhonda, filed a protest and she’s due to defend his application before the Value Adjustment Board this fall.
She didn’t return a call for comment.
Said Ron Cacciatore, the property appraiser’s enforcer: “We want to make sure that everyone who receives an agricultural exemption legally deserves it.”