Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough Property Appraiser's Office working around phone outage

TAMPA — Verizon workers continued trying Monday to repair damaged cables that left 300 customers — including the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office — without telephone service for days.

The company expects to get customers back on line by today, said Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell.

The outage struck the appraiser's office in the midst of its busiest season of the year. Officials just sent out notices telling property owners their valuations, exemptions and projected tax bills based on where local governments have tentatively set their tax rates.

"This is like our time to get phone calls," said appraiser's office general counsel Will Shepherd. "We just sent out a half-million pieces of mail."

The deadline for filing an appeal of a property value, denied exemption or other tax issues with the Value Adjustment Board is Wednesday. Shepherd said it's unlikely that date will be extended because of the phone outage. He added, however, that the board can take into account "extenuating circumstances" for late-filed appeals.

Mitchell, the Verizon spokesman, said the trouble began Thursday when a contractor putting in conduits for a traffic signal project near Kings Avenue and State Road 60 in Brandon "basically damaged two of our cables." Verizon must replace the underground cables, which got wet.

As of late Monday afternoon, Verizon had restored service to about a quarter of its affected customers.

Over at the appraiser's office, officials were urging people with concerns to use the customer contact link on the agency's website,

Customers also can email the office at, and a staffer will email or call back from a cellphone.

Though Verizon expects the lines to be ready by today, Shepherd said his office would set up three separate analog phone lines that had been dedicated to fax machines. Those numbers would be functional today in case the main line is still down.

Officials will make those numbers available on the agency's website and on the outgoing message of the main line, (813) 272-6100, if the outage continues.

Times staff writer Bill Varian contributed to this report. Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (813) 226-3374.

Hillsborough Property Appraiser's Office working around phone outage 09/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed


    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  2. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post


    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  3. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike


    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  4. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  5. White House offers muddled message on Russia sanctions legislation


    WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that the Trump administration supports new legislation to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression toward Ukraine.

    President Donald Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford  at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, July 22, 2017. [New York Times]