County Continues Costly Fight Against Parrish







County attorneys are intent on prolonging the costly legal battle against Property Appraiser Lori Parrish.

On Wednesday, The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled against County Commissioners’ attempt to block Parrish’s $18.7 million 2013-2014 budget. Commissioners had offered her $14.8 million and withheld money from her office.

On Thursday, Chief Deputy County Attorney Andrew Meyers wrote County Commissioners that he intends to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Meyers also argued in his memo that the court’s decision only concerned the 2015 budget, not the 2014 budget as Parrish contends.

In a letter also dated Thursday in response to Meyers’ memo, Parrish’s attorney William “Bill” Scherer immediately asked for $568,398 “wrongfully withheld from the property appraiser’s funding (in 2014) because the case took longer than a year to resolve.”

Scherer asked Meyers to confirm he would not pay Parrish “so that we might immediately institute collection actions against the county.”

Broward County Commissioner Marty Kiar has had enough.

Kiar asked for the case to be debated on January 6, when the commission meets again. A vote on whether commissioners want to continue the potentially costly inner-governmental fight against Parrish could come at that time.

Parrish already has presumably three of the nine votes on the commission. Kiar, along with Chip LaMarca and Dale Holness, initially opposed the legal fight against Parrish.

For background on the appeals court ruling, click here.




17 Responses to “County Continues Costly Fight Against Parrish”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    This is NOT about Lori Parrish or the county appraiser’s budget, but about what funding priorities the County Government has. What is important? Zillion dollar giveaways or a relatively small amount of funding for one branch of County Government? It is obvious that financially this item of the increase in the Tax Appraiser’s Budget is minor compared to other items in the County Budget. And, frankly, since when are staffers – which is really what the Chief County Attorney is – deciding policy and priorities? Whether Tax Appraiser Lori Parrish is good or bad about her budget or she is spending too much money is a minor issue if you look at the WHOLE PICTURE of the County Government, but the County Government seems incapable to dealing with REAL ISSUES like the Panthers (AND THEIR LOBBYISTS) but Hell hath no fury like a County Commission that thinks someone got “too much money” INSTEAD OF THEM! To continue this opposition of the COURT DECISIONS is just plain nasty, personal pique by small minded minds.

  2. Kevin Hill says:


    Actually, I think this is an important constitutional (state constitution, that is) conflict that will need to be decided by the Florida Supreme Court.

    But as a taxpayer I do object to the waste of money.

  3. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Kevin, the 4th DCA’s ruling is clear and correct. The Florida Supreme Court will not grant an appeal. The County Commission has no credible argument and is simply whining about paying its debt to the Property Appraiser.

    The County Commission should just stop whining and pay up. The amount in dispute is only about $4 million. Compare that to the $80 million in “corporate welfare” that the County Commission wants to flush straight down the “Florida Panthers” toilet!!

  4. BREC Member says:

    This whole battle is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Seems like it’s all about a majority of the county commission just personally want to go after Lori. Let’s just hope Kiar can gather 5 votes on January 6th to stop this whole mess.

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Kristin Jacobs and Sue Gunzburger were County Commissioners back in late 2013 when Parrish first filed this lawsuit to collect her money. Now they’re both gone. If Beam Furr votes to pay up, that’s a 4-4 tie (the District 2 seat formerly occupied by Jacobs is still vacant, so only 8 of the 9 seats are filled). And if Tim Ryan changes his vote too, then that’s a 5-3 mandate to end this nonsense and move on. The District 2 election is January 13th, and that could also provide another County Commission vote to end this wasteful litigation.

  6. Lori Parrish says:

    Thanks for all your comments. The amount in dispute is $578K plus in 2013-14 and $988K plus in 2014-15. Our budget increase in 2014-15 was less than 1% of our previously approved DOR budget.


  7. Real Deal says:

    If the County Commission has no discretion over the Property Appraiser’s budget, because the State Department of Revenue has the authority to decide that question, then the State should fund the Property Appraiser’s office. What’s the point having the Appraisers in County budgets if County Commissions have no authority to establish those amounts?

    At the same time, if the Appraiser presents a reasonable budget to a County Commission but they abuse their authority and treat the Appraiser in a dismissive and unfair way, that too is wrong.

    The best answer is likely found between those two lines.

  8. Kevin Hill says:

    Ha ha ha,

    yeah, I’m 99% sure you are right. Once the Supreme Ct rejects the appeal, that’s it.

    But even that rejection will set a precedent, and this won’t happen to other Property Appraisers again (hopefully).

    Because of the length and complexity of our state Constitution, the relationships between county commissions, constitutional officers, and the state are a complete mess. And that does not even take into account the exceptions granted to individual counties like Miami-Dade, Duval, and Monroe….

    Fun fact, because of constitutional provisions, the Mosquito Control Board members in the Keys are elected in PARTISAN(!) elections. Now I ask you, what is the GOP/DEM difference in killing skeeters?

    Another crazy one: School Board are elected in non-partisan elections (per the 1998 amendments), but the counties that retain elected Superintendents have partisan elections.

    I could go on.

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @7 – The point is to shield the Property Appraiser from undue local influence, while still preserving the incentive to keep a close watch of the efficiency of the Property Appraiser and report any potential cost reductions to the Department of Revenue.

    This is a very well designed approach. It blocks dysfunctional attempts to bully the Property Appraiser, while also providing nearly zero resistance to legitimate cost reduction opportunities.

  10. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    It is no secret that Comm.Kiar wants to be the next county appraiser. So its typical that he would want to appease Ms.Parrish(obvious). Interesting to see how newbie comm.Furr will go. We will see. Just because Comm.Kiar wants to debate this doesn’t mean he will get the majority(huh Eddie Haskell-Leave it to beaver huh-w/ your constant brown nosing-its pathetic Marty). I say take what you get Ms.Parrish. I get it all else fails call in the “Grand wizard”other wise known as Att.bill Scherer. W/ him defending the church and the homeless feeding(which I was shocked about-no tip of my hat now-come on suing the City-Ft.lau put you on the map). So w/ the Grand wizard” on board will probably go to the State Supreme ct. The “Grand wizard” has other cases pending don’t you Bill.What happened to opening District 2 to all to both Demos and Rep. Or what? I think the Grand Wizard” or this week the proud peacock will get his feathers ruffled going up against Drew Myers. I feel very comfortaable w/ Drew Myers telling us he can beat the “grand wizard”. County comm. (majority) roll the dice w/ Drew……

  11. Plain Language says:

    @9 Both sentences are gibberish. Whatever point you were trying to make, you failed to make any.

  12. Plain Language says:

    By the way, it’s going to be a 9-0 vote to give Lori her money and the reason is simple. Those that vote no will look incredibly stupid when the vote passes and even if it did go to court, the argument would be rejected because there’s no good reason for the appeal. Sadly one of the most reliable reasons to assure a yes vote from a Broward County Commissioner is they will look stupid if they vote no.

  13. Here's The Law says:

    Section 195.087, Florida Statutes (2013), requires the Florida Department of Revenue (“the FDOR”) to determine the budget for each county’s property appraiser. Under this statute, on or before June 1 of each year, property appraisers must submit to the FDOR “a budget for the operation of the property appraiser’s office for the ensuing fiscal year beginning October 1,” and furnish a copy of such budget to the subject county’s commissioners. Following submission, the FDOR has until July 15 to notify the property appraiser and the board of county commissioners of its tentative budget amendments and changes. Thereafter, “the property appraiser and the board of county commissioners may submit additional information or testimony to the [FDOR] respecting the budget” until—at the latest— August 15, at which point the FDOR “shall make its final budget amendments or changes to the budget and shall provide notice thereof to the property appraiser and board of county commissioners.”

    The Property Appraiser proposes its budget, the County Commission is in the loop and has a voice, the Department of Revenue is the decider, and the County Commission then pays the Property Appraiser accordingly.

  14. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha says:

    Not to be confused, I am not Ha Ha Ha.

    I used more “ha ha’s” just to accentuate the absurdity of the assumption that there will be a 9-0 vote to give Lori her money.

    One thing that must be remembered with matters of litigation with involving the County Commission or School Board, to the members, attorneys fees are nothing more than monopoly money.

    The Commissioners who still want to fight will rely on the advice of their counsel, who believes there was a flaw in the 4th DCA decision.

    The votes to watch are Ryan, Furr and Bogen. Sharief, Furr and Bogen survived Parrish working against them this cycle and when they are up again she will be retied. Ritter knows Lori lost those three races and should be reelected without issue. Ryan was on the fence last time voting to compromise and give Lori half of what she was seeking. Ryan has Elenor Sobel looking to run against him, most likely he has now decided to keep Lori happy.

    Too close to call but it will probably go 5-4 one way or another.


    As this comment writer indicates, never underestimate the willingness of county commissioners to replace good public policy with political motivations.

  15. Lori Parrish says:

    Yesterday the County wired to our bank account all the monies they owed us and fully funded our 2nd quarter payment for 2014-2015. This does not mean they won’t continue the appeal to the Supreme Court. It means they have complied with the Judge’s order and the 4th DCA decision… they have to fund us while they protest our budget. Whether the appeal to the Supreme Court continues will be up to the vote held at the Commission meeting on Jan 6, 2015.

  16. wire is good says:

    If Sharief or Ritter had been Mayor my bet is they would have sent it over in pennies.

  17. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    #15. Ok so you got your money for the time being. Another one who thinks she (Parrish) has a feather in her hat. Also to point out (another one- all else fails call in the ‘grand wizard’Bill Scherer). Also to point out we are paying the “Grand wizard” not you Count appraiser.And to alot of you I know, i know Scherer is suing the City. Shame on you Grand wizard. If it cost us a million dollars Bill Scherer no deals. We are that pissed off sir. Let them piss/shit and eat in your back yard “Grand wizard’. You to Lori Parrish. Over a lousy 1/2 mill . Where’s gay ‘dumpledorf” when we need him. (probably goosin Harry Potter-change that lighten rod on his forehand to a big penis head. ) Honestly “grand wizard” so disapointed in you. More later from the “podium”…..