Saturday, August 18, 2018
Politics

Candidate for state House owed nearly $12,000 in unpaid taxes

SPRING HILL — Tax Collector Sally Daniel was one of several well-known Hernando County Republicans who stood behind Blaise Ingoglia on Wednesday when he announced he was running for the state House of Representatives.

At the time, Ingoglia owed Daniel's office $11,864.75 for two years' worth of delinquent property taxes on his Spring Hill home, records show. He also has been late paying taxes on the property several previous years.

Ingoglia, who serves as vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and chairman of the Hernando Republican Executive Committee, paid the outstanding amount on Thursday, the same day the Tampa Bay Times sent him an email asking about the debt.

"This was an oversight because the mailing address for the tax bill was incorrect," Ingoglia wrote in an email back to the Times. "As soon as I became aware, it was paid immediately and the mailing address changed to reflect where the property tax bills should go.

"My businesses and I are responsible for paying over $45,000 a year in property taxes over 45 separate property tax accounts. All of them are current with the exception of this isolated one."

Property Appraiser John Emerson, a Republican who also stood with Ingoglia during his announcement, said his office sent the tax bills directly to Ingoglia's home on Feather Street.

"It was the correct address, it just wasn't where he wanted it to go," Emerson said.

On Thursday, Ingoglia requested that the bills be sent to the Spring Hill headquarters of his home-building business, Hartland Homes.

The four-bedroom, four-bathroom house on Feather Street has a taxable value of $289,388 once the $50,000 homestead exemption has been subtracted.

Records show Ingoglia has been late paying taxes on the house a total of six times since it was built in 2005. The amount of back taxes he paid Thursday included the interest on the tax certificate for his 2011 bill that had been sold at auction.

Property owners are sent two notices a year for the current tax bill and two notices a year listing any back taxes owed, said Daniel, who added that she was not aware of Ingoglia's outstanding bills before Thursday.

Ingoglia filed Tuesday to run for the District 35 House seat currently held by Spring Hill Republican Rob Schenck, who must step aside due to term limits.

Ingoglia made a name for himself locally in 2007 with his "Government Gone Wild" seminars that chronicled what he described as the county's wasteful spending.

He was elected in 2011 as interim vice chairman of the state party and then re-elected in January.

Four of Hernando County's five commissioners stood behind Ingoglia on Wednesday when he made the formal announcement. Chairman Dave Russell introduced him.

"It's certainly easy enough for that kind of oversight to occur," Russell said Thursday when asked about Ingoglia's tax bill, "and I accept that (explanation) on its face."

Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

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