Property

property sale will pay fallen Florida condo’s taxes

Money from the sale of Florida beachfront property where a collapsed condominium tower once stood will be used to pay property taxes of the destroyed units, a judge ordered Monday.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said in a brief ruling that the 2022 tax payments should not be deducted from the $96 million previously earmarked to compensate owners of the 136 units of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida. The building collapsed June 24, 2021, killing 98 people.

Hanzman said the taxes should not be paid by the owners. Instead, the taxes — a little under $800,000 combined, county officials say — should be paid from excess funds available from the $120 million sale of the land formerly occupied by the 12-story building.

The issue arose after the court-appointed receiver in the case, attorney Michael Goldberg, told unit owners in a letter they would be liable for the taxes just as if their condos had been sold. The judge’s order came just after the Miami Herald published a story Monday about the unresolved tax matter.

Oren Cytrynbaum, whose family owned two units in the building, said he was grateful the judge dealt with the issue quickly so owners would be spared further expense — even if it was a few thousand dollars each.

“Every dollar counts for the victims. It’s still a struggle,” Cytrynbaum said in an interview. “Everybody wants to move on and go to the next chapter. I think we’re getting there.”

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