Discussions underway to rework Lake County, Eustis lines

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EUSTIS, Fla. —

Officials in Eustis want to bring hundreds of new pieces of property into the city, saying it will allow them to collect about $200,000 in tax money per year.

City officials have even agreed to not collect home and land owner fees on the incoming properties, but the move could cost Lake County leaders.

Homeowner Erin Saunders said things could get complicated on her block. Saunders lives in unincorporated Lake County but many of her neighbors live in the city of Eustis.

"It's just really strange," she said. "This side of the street is city.  This side of the street is county."

Kurt Street is in the city while West Charlotte Avenue is in the county.  And the streets residents live on happen to affect their taxes, said Channel 9's Berndt Petersen.

Eustis officials want to make it easy for the owners of more than 400 homes and businesses to join the city.   And because some property owners would end up paying fewer county fees, they'd end up with a tax break.

"The lower the value of the property, the less impact it is to them," said Eustis spokesman Dianne Kramer.

Kramer admits that residents with higher-end homes would pay more.  The city would end up with an extra $200,000 a year in tax revenue.

"It's all relative," said Kramer. "What's a lot to me may not be a lot to you or vice-versa."

Eustis police and fire would obviously cover the areas annexed, said Petersen.

Saunders said she likes the idea of everyone on her block with the same services, but she's not going to rush into anything.

"I would definitely want to look at it before I sign on, sign anything," she said.

If most of the homes and businesses were annexed into Eustis, Lake County fire rescue would lose out on up to $100,000 a year in fire fees.

The chief said that could delay the purchase of firefighting equipment.