Tampa Trib: Homestead exemption could be issue for Connie Mack

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Connie Mack is married to California Republican Rep. Mary Bono, and both have homestead exemptions on their residences – Mack on his Fort Myers condominium, and Bono on her Palm Springs house.

The Florida Constitution says no more than one homestead exemption is allowed to any individual or “family unit,” which means a married couple, said Will Shepherd, general counsel for the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office.

“Assuming they’re functioning as a married couple, even if they live in those separate residences, then Florida law would say no, you cannot have two homesteads (exemptions),” he said.

But a lawyer for Mack disputed Shepherd’s interpretation of Florida law, saying that because Mack and his wife are “financially independent” and maintain “separate permanent residences” in their respective states, Mack is entitled to a homestead exemption in Florida.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.