UPDATE: State owns $14 million building after allby Dara Kam | December 7th, 2009
An error in St. Lucie County Property Appraiser Jeff Furst’s database caused confusion over whether the state ever took title to a $14 million building it owns in Ft. Pierce.
Furst told a Senate committee this morning that his records showed the state had never transferred the title from the City of Ft. Pierce, which gave the land to the state in 1988.
The state actually took ownership of the property in 1989, according to the Department of Management Services.
Senate budget chief ordered DMS officials in January to create a database of all state-owned properties – more than 17,000 buildings – so lawmakers could consolidate workers and possibly save money on expensive leases.
DMS has not been able to do that yet and wants to hire a private vendor to help create the database.
Furst told Alexander’s Ways and Means Committee that the task should be simple: all of the state’s 67 property appraisers submit a list of all the properties – including those owned by the state – and their values to the Department of Revenue each year.
Furst’s records should be updated tonight to show that the state has taken ownership of the building, DMS spokeswoman Linda McDonald said.
“This is a good example of why this is a big important job because different databases need to be kept up to date,” she said. “We want you and your readers to understand that we have always known where of our buildings are. That’s never been the issue. The issue has been getting this complete data set that provides valuation for those properties.”