David Jolly's Pinellas condo is mostly for part-time residents
Republican congressional candidate David Jolly could be excused for not knowing many of the neighbors in his Indian Shores condo complex.
Jolly is one of just three owners in the 162-unit Barefoot Beach Resort who claim homestead exemptions. All of the others are part-time residents, many of whom lease out their units to vacationers.
Unlike opponent Alex Sink, who is renting a Feather Sound condo, Jolly cites his 2005 purchase of the 950-square-foot unit as evidence he’s a full-time Pinellas resident. But the rider to a mortgage he and then-wife Carrie took out that year shows that initially at least they were part-timers, too.
“Borrower shall occupy and shall only use the property as Borrower’s second home,” the rider says. At the time, the couple were living in Arlington, Va., while Jolly worked for Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
“In the spring of 2006, he sold his home in VA and relocated to Florida, then changing his homestead exemption to Florida,’’ spokeswoman Sarah Bascom said today in an email. “That (second home) notation was on a mortgage application and had nothing to do with homestead.’’
Jolly has claimed a homestead exemption on the Pinellas condo since 2007 even though he also got an exemption that year on a Washington, D.C., condo he and Carrie bought. Last week, Jolly’s staff said that was a mistake and that Jolly had repaid $264.
According to Barefoot Beach’s website, “our vacation condos are luxurious waterfront rentals’’ on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Pinellas property appraiser records show that most of the owners live in other states or in Canada. Apart from Jolly, the only owners who claim homestead exemptions are a nurse and two brothers.
Bill Priakos, manager of Barefoot Beach Vacation Rentals, says many owners rent out their units during the winter tourist season. All of the condos are one or two bedrooms and rent from $185 to $325 a night.
“We’re pretty well booked up solid,’’ Priakos says.
Jolly bought his unit near the peak of the housing boom for $338,500 with mortgages totaling $304,650. Today the condo has a just market value of $124,962, and the property taxes have plunged to $1,560 from a high of $5,772 eight years ago.
In the midst of their divorce (finalized in January), Jolly gave his wife power of attorney to “bargain, sell, transfer, encumber and convey” his interest in the D.C. condo they bought for $899,000 in 2007. Records show they paid off a $719,920 mortgage on that condo in July but still have mortgages on the Pinellas unit.