Saturday, March 15, 2008

Buddy Johnson (R), Hillsborough County, Supervisor of Elections, Uses Cows to Avoid Taxes

In seeking a $608,573 agricultural tax exemption on a rural tract he bought last year, Hillsborough County Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson is relying on an annual lease of his land to a part-time farmer for $1 per acre.

Johnson is allowing the farmer to use his 19.98 acres for cattle grazing for $20 a year. With the cows on his land, Johnson hopes to be granted a "greenbelt" tax exemption that could knock more than $12,000 off his tax bill...
Johnson, who is up for re-election this year, declined to answer questions forwarded to his office this week about the tax matters. He did not return a call from the St. Petersburg Times on Friday.

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