FORT WALTON BEACH — The new Crestview courthouse's price is around $22 million, so Okaloosa County leaders plan to generate new revenue. Raising property taxes seems to be off the table, so commissioners are focusing on the county’s own assets — particularly its long-held leases.
Commission Chairman Kelly Windes' plan is to review the county’s major leases of land and structures — such as The Boardwalk, Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and James Lee Park — and increase some of those rates to market value. County Administrator John Hofstad said the additional revenue could also be applied to the county jail's expansion.
Many of the leases have been held — and regularly renewed — for decades. Some of the agreements have included minimal price increases through the years; many still remain below market value.
See examples from the Northwest Florida Daily News>>