News Cast 5/10

News Cast for May 10th:

RV living could get more expensive 

If you live in an RV in Okeechobee your tax bill may be going up. 

County Attorney Wade Vose said the property appraiser Mickey Bandi maintains that RVs are not eligible for homestead exemptions. 

“The property appraiser’s office is maintaining the position that under Okeechobee County code an RV can not constitute a permanent residence for purposes of the tax laws. 

He has requested an attorney general’s opinion on whether or not RVs parked anywhere in the county can serve as a permanent residence for the purposes of getting a homestead exemption. 

Candidate for agriculture commissioner Wilton Simpson expects the governor to sign Senate Bill 2508. 

It involves guaranteeing water supply for agriculture and for people around Lake Okeechobee and in West Palm Beach. 

Simpson said the bill will help all Floridians. 

“By having adequate water for a growing population south of the lake, that will insure a better volume of water for agriculture and for the environment. 

Simpson said once every 10 years Florida will not have enough water for either the population, the environment, or agriculture. 

He said opponents of the bill want to reduce that to one in seven. 

He said if that happens Florida could become like California which has constant water shortages. 

Indiantown’s mayor Jackie Clarke would like more high school graduates to take advantage of free tuition at Indian River State College. 

Two years of free tuition is now being offered by IRSC. 

29 students from Indiantown have taken the pledge to get the degree. 

The council debated a $180 dollar permit fee for residents due to some drainage improvements in Booker Park. 

Councilmember Susan Gibbs Thomas said she was against the fee. 

“They didn’t see any of this coming.  This is a great project for the community.  They didn’t realize there would be money coming out of their pocket.” 

The state has also increased a grant to $800,000 to provide a hurricane shelter for pets and people at the Indiantown Civic Center. 

The council added Juneteenth as a village holiday and removed Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day as a holiday. 

The village recognizes 13 holidays per year. 

Osceola county sheriff Marcos Lopez released some more details on a police shooting at the Target in Kissimmee. 

He’s been criticized by Orlando media of not releasing information. 

Lopez defended his decision to let the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigate. 

“When I didn’t release any information because we are not part of the investigation some media outlets questioned my commitment to transparency and accountability.  I think Osceola county residents realize handing the investigation over to an independent agency is the best method to be transparent and accountable.” 

Lopez said  the 20 year old man who was killed, Jayden Baez, accelerated his car toward the deputies ramming four of their vehicles and causing one deputy to jump out of the way for fear of his life. 

Two detectives in the vehicles suffered minor injury. 

Baez, if he lived would have faced multiple felonies and had a lengthy criminal record.