BEND, OR -- Florida officials are looking into whether Bend City Council candidate Lisa Seales truly has been a permanent resident of the state. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Florida and owns a home there. The Gainesville area is now looking into her Homestead Exemption status at that Floriday property. The exemption gives her a break on property taxes. Ed Crapo is the property appraiser in that area and says last Friday they received a call and started looking into whether she qualified for the exemption. He says there could be consequences if she was inelligible to receive the tax break. "If they've been receiving homestead exemption for a period of time and we can go back 10 years from a period of time when they were not in fact entitled to it, then they're assessed back taxes plus a 50% penalty and 15% interest on the amounts of the money that were due."
When asked if Seales is considered a resident of Florida, Crapo replied, "Well, I'm going to assume Oregon is like Florida. In order to run for public office, you have to be registered to vote and in order to register to vote, you have to be a resident of that state. And, you can't be the resident of two states simultaneously."
Attempts by KBND to contact Seales for comment were unsuccesful.
Several of her supporters have taken issue with opponent Casey Roats' residency. They claim he doesn't meet residentcy requirements because he moved outside city limits while his new home was built.