Tax collectors, property appraisers face high lease rates

Orange County Commissioners look to move offices

ORLANDO, Fla. - After years of paying the bills, Orange County Commissioners are taking a second look at a high bill for a highrise.

Right now, both the Orange County Tax Collector and Property Appraisers offices are on the 16th and 17th floor of the SunTrust building in Downtown Orlando. The cost of leasing those two offices, $1,023,616.84 a year.

An amount Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd called too expensive.

"When you hear that that kind of rent is being spent, it's a big number," said Boyd.

To try and save money, Boyd has proposed that Orange County either move the Tax and Property Appraisers offices to a new building or build a new building entirely.

"If we have two years to time this out and get all the details worked out I think it's a great opportunity and time to do it," said Boyd.

County officials say they have time to find a new location because their lease with Suntrust doesn't expire for two years.

During Tuesday's County Commission meeting, all of the other County Commissioners seemed to agree with Boyd's money-saving suggestion. However, there were concerns about location.

The current offices are downtown and have an attached parking garage.

"Something that is close to the east west expressway is imperative," said Commissioner Fred Brummer.

Both the Property Appraisers office and Tax Collectors office have been in the Suntrust building for 17 years. The offices were originally moved there after concerns with their old building.

County officials say they have renegotiated the lease with Suntrust several times over the years. They are currently paying about $19 per square-foot.

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