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June 3, 2015

Statement from the Office of Rick Singh, independently-elected Orange County


Property Appraiser

In response to a news conference held today where allegations of a non-specific nature were made
against operations of the Orange County Property Appraisers Office, please find information which
will assist in telling your story fairly and accurately. This news conference was held at 1 p.m. by a
member of the Orange County Commission. The commissioner and some in the media insist that the
Orange County Property Appraisers Office (OCPA) must be audited. Some may be unaware the
office is already audited annually by law.

The Office of County Comptroller Martha Haynie must conduct an annual audit of the Property
Appraisers Office. This year the audit was completed in January 2015 by Cherry Bekaert
CPAs & Advisors for fiscal year ending 2014. Here is an excerpt from the audit regarding
compliance with government auditing standardsThe results of our tests disclosed no
instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under
Government Auditing Standards. Findings further state, In our opinion, the Property
Appraiser complied, in all material respects, with the aforementioned requirements for the year
ended September 30, 2014.

The Office of Property Appraiser has returned $276 million dollars to the tax base over the past
two-and-a-half years. This means roughly $5 million dollars in additional tax revenue is added
to the tax roll on a yearly recurring basis. $58 million dollars has been returned to the tax base
by removing tax breaks from non bonafide use of agricultural properties.

When a member of the appraisal staff travels to a property to conduct business, the appraiser
places a door hanger on the property door to let the property owner know his/her property was

visited by a staff member from the Orange County Property Appraisers Office. These door
hangers cost $.08 a piece and $2,411.70 was spent on 30,000 door hangers printed in English
and Spanish. Purchase date was October 15, 2014.

In March 2015, the office converted to the use of hybrid, leased vehicles for property
appraisers to drive during their daily duties. These vehicles are marked clearly with the Office
of Property Appraiser, Rick Singh on each vehicle. No markings appear on the front
windshield. The Florida Department of Highway Patrol conducted an inspection of the vehicle
indicating all markings are allowed. The office is not in violation of any statute regarding
markings on appraisers vehicles.

Why the switch to marked vehicles? First, cost savings. Consider that over a 10-year period,
the savings to taxpayers will equal approximately $1,157,000. When a property appraiser does
his/her job, they take photos of property with an iPad. Prior to using the marked vehicles,
appraisers used personal vehicles and were reimbursed for their mileage.

When using the private vehicles, he/she would drive up to a property taking a photo, in
vehicles of varying descriptions. They would have magnets on them which fell off. Prior to
using the marked vehicles, appraisers used personal vehicles and were reimbursed for their
mileage.
o Second, the safety associated with the marked vehicles speaks for itself. Any property
owner will know who is on his/her property and can contact the office if they have any
questions based on the website and phone number included in the markings.
o Thirdly, our staffers have the built-in level of comfort that when they approach property,
the property owner knows who is there.

Should you require answers to any other questions, please contact Laverne Mcgee at
lmcgee@ocpafl.org or 407.836.5096 or Kathy Marsh at kmarsh@ocpafl.org or 407.836.5056.

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