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Triumph Approves $15M For Bay, Gulf, Franklin & Wakulla To Offset Property Tax Losses

Triumph Gulf Coast has approved $15 million  to help four Hurricane battered North Florida counties deal with property tax losses. 

The money comes from a settlement over the 2010 BP oil spill.

Bay, Wakulla, Franklin and Gulf Counties will have about three weeks to submit their requests to the Triumph Board. It expects to dole out awards by mid-to-late April. The county requests would also include school district and city losses as well. Board member and former House Speaker Allen Bense says he wants to be clear the money is a compromise.

I also don’t want for the rest of Florida to think, ‘Well, Triumph is going to take care of Michael. Because that’s not our mission. I think we’ve struck a pretty fair balance.”

Triumph is setting up the fund after state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis made the recommendation. But the board isn’t creating a bridge-loan system, which Patronis also suggested. 

North Florida is facing a decade of recovery efforts with estimates in the billions of dollars. State lawmakers are scrambling to come up additional funding after the federal government failed to include a disaster recovery package in its latest budget. 

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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