Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Politics

Citrus County property appraiser found dead; suicide suspected

LECANTO — Citrus County Property Appraiser Geoffrey Greene was found dead from an apparent suicide at his home Sunday afternoon, deputies said.

Citrus County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call at Greene's home at 420 S. Lecanto Highway shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday. The official cause and manner of death are pending a medical examiner's report, deputies said.

Greene was elected property appraiser in November 2008. He had more than 35 years of experience in real estate as a licensed real estate broker and mortgage banker.

Greene has attracted attention for an ongoing property tax dispute over Duke Energy's substantial holdings in Citrus County, which include four coal-fired power plants and a shuttered nuclear reactor.

The utility has disputed its property tax bill in each of the past two years, paying only a portion of what Greene's office said it owed. Duke paid just under $22 million of the $62.5 million the county said it owed in 2013 and is suing the county to challenge the higher assessment.

The initial dispute plunged Citrus County into a fiscal crisis, as Duke accounted for about a quarter of the county's tax base as its largest taxpayer.

During his time in office, Greene established a Property Appraiser's Industry Roundtable for residents interested in real estate, appraisal and banking. According to his website, he was committed to managing the office with fiscal responsibility, providing exceptional customer service and ensuring fair and equitable assessments.

Greene grew up in Delray Beach and worked as a firefighter in Palm Beach County. He moved to Lecanto in the early 1980s to manage companies for Stan Olsen, the founder of Black Diamond Ranch.

He is survived by a wife and a daughter.

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