• Volusia Co. lake dries up, but residents forced to pay lakefront property taxes


    DELTONA, Fla. - Some Deltona residents are upset they're paying higher property taxes because they live on a lakefront, but the problem is the lake is drying up, yet their taxes remain the same.

    Homeowner Holly Spina told Channel 9 she paid a lot of money for permits, materials and labor to help build a boat ramp to Lake Teresa, which was nice when the lake was full.

    The ramp now goes down to a field, but residents are still paying lakefront taxes for it.

    "It's just very, very sad and depressing," Spina said.

    Spina said she doesn't enjoy her property as much since the lake dried up. She said the lakefront property taxes she's still paying combine for several hundred dollars each year.

    "I personally believe I should be considered lake view," said Spina. "However, I'm still taxed at lakefront."

    In the back yards of some of the homes, a long-time dry-docked pleasure boat is a common sight.

    Residents can still get to the water in a kayak, but they have to cross over a few hundred yards of overgrown brush, the dry lake bed, which is essentially their new back yard.

    "A lot of people think it's a public park now, riding dirt bikes, bringing their dogs and playing down there like it's a big field, and it's a part of our back yard," said Spina.

    According to the Volusia County property appraiser, that back yard will always be considered lakefront because water levels change drastically in Florida.

    But Spina said the lake has been drying up since 2004.

    "All those thousands spent. It's tough to swallow. It's very said, it's very sad," said Spina.

    The property appraiser said there is one way to dispute property taxes in Volusia County and that's in August when homeowners receive their notice of proposed taxes.

    There is information on how to file a petition.

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    Volusia Co. lake dries up, but residents forced to pay lakefront property taxes