Sunday, October 25, 2009

Homestead requirements in Florida

According to a real estate broker and appraiser in Florida yesterday, there are certain requirements to qualify for the homestead exemption in Florida.

Among the requirements are that the homeowner may have to have a Florida Driver's License, register his vehicle in Florida and be registered to vote in Florida.

Now, if you claim Florida as your residence in order to gain a $50,000 homestead exemption on your real estate property tax bill, and if you have a Florida driver's license, register your car in Florida and are a registered voter in Florida, can you claim a $5,500 homestead exemption in Illinois, have an Illinois driver's license and be registered to vote in McHenry County?

When the Florida real estate appraiser mentioned "register your vehicle in Florida", I recalled September 17th, when a Woodstock police officer told me that the white Chevrolet Tahoe (Illinois passenger car registration (license plate) - 196 3705) driven by Sheriff Nygren was not owned by the County or by Nygren. This is the vehicle that Nygren was driving in the Jewel-Osco parking lot, when he pulled in alongside my car, when I was parked in the far end of the parking lot to make a telephone call. (See my articles on September 17 and since; just search for "Jewel" in the upper left corner search box on this blog.)

I wondered at the time who owned it and why the sheriff wasn't driving his own vehicle or a County-owned vehicle. If I recall correctly, the officer said that a party named Wilson owned the Tahoe, and I wondered by the sheriff would have been driving a vehicle owned by someone else. Who is Wilson? (OK, no wise cracks about Cast Away, with Tom Hanks. Remember? "Wilson!")

People have told me that the white Tahoe is the sheriff's vehicle. That's what he drives. Is maintenance (oil changes? washes? tires?) on it done at County expense or at the Sheriff's Garage on Russel Court? Is it gassed at a County pump or at County expense? Insured by the County or covered under the County's self-insurance? Where is the sheriff's personal vehicle?

You'll want to read for the reporting on the Nygrens' Cape Coral home and their homestead exemption claimed on that house in Florida - at the same time that they claim a homestead exemption on their home in Hebron. Are the Nygrens legal residents of Florida?

And read for additional comments on the reporting by the "Dirty Keith" blog.

If Keith Nygren is a legal resident in Florida (as claimed to gobble up a $50,000 homestead exemption and pay lower real estate taxes), how can he legally be Sheriff of McHenry County?

No wonder he is called the "cell phone sheriff"! Would his cell phone records tell an interesting story about how much time he really spends out of McHenry County during working hours?

If Nygren is a legal resident of Florida, a registered voter in Florida and if his Cape Coral home is his permanent residence, just how much time does he spend there - away from his elected and compensated duties as Sheriff of McHenry County?

Is he a registered voter in Florida? The Illinois State Board of Elections shows a Keith R. Nygren in ZIP Code 60034 (Hebron, Illinois) as a registered voter.

We've all heard "Vote Early & Vote Often." What's going on?

Cal Skinner reported on that Mrs. Nygren is a registered voter in Florida. Perhaps Cal can find out whether Keith Nygren is also a registered voter there. I couldn't find a website on the Florida Division of Elections for learning whether a person is a registered voter.

Will he abandon his re-election bid?
Will Nygren resign from office?
Will the State's Attorney's Office investigate what is going on?
Will a special prosecutor have to be called in, since the SAO is the legal advisor for the sheriff's department?


DownByTheRiver said...

Per Federal Law/IRS Rules, you would theoretically have to prove that you are in residence a minimum of 183 days.

Dayum! How much time does he get off?

David J. Bachmann said...

Also, look at the Nygrens 'Mortgage Documents" I am providing at my blog

Nygrens were given a loan by the Home State Bank of Crystal Lake, the loaned amount is 'about' $70,000.00 OVER the 'purchase price' of the Florida residence???

"Sugar Daddy Banker" wonder what the Federal Bank Examiners think of that..PLUS

look at the mortgage 'Second Home Rider" attached to the loan.

Well, just go look, the documents speak for themselves as do the actions of your Sheriff and his wife.

I do not believe Keith has claimed Florida as his homestead.. It does not matter, by law, he and marge had to provide documentation and sign a sworn affidavit that they would NOT take ANY other Tax Credits in ANY OTHER JURISDICTION!

They both have cheated the good citizens of McHenry County!

The are caught in a 'crossfire' of fraud either way.. Keith does NOT have to claim the 'homestead' have been complicit in the 'fraud' both on the mortgage issue and homestead issues..

Its ALL clearly defined on my blog.

They signed separate Mortgage Rider stating THEY WOULD NOT USE THE FLORIDA HOME AS PERM RESIDENCE.

Notawannabee said...

The White Tahoe is County Owned. Police vehicles having non-municipal registration usually have bogus registration. SO those plates are COUNTY plates yet will register to a fake name (Wilson)and address. This is typically done with UNMARKED police vehicles so criminals with access to SOS records can not identify the vehicle.

Karen12359 said...

Good question. Is the SA going to investigate this?

Curious1 said...

A $5,500 property value reduction exemption at probably around 6% is about 330 bucks. Is this bunch now going to call for the States Attorney to investigate everyone that MAY have made a $330 tax error. I sure would not want to be running for public office on a platform of prosecuting citizens who disagree politically over a 300 buck POTENTIAL tax mistake. Just seems to be a bit over-dramatic and vengeful.

Gus said...

It's not about the Illinois Homestead Exemption on the Hebron house.

It's about claiming a Homestead Exemption on the Cape Coral house.

Is there anyone here who thinks an elected sheriff receiving the statutory $100,000/year compensation shouldn't maintain his primary residence in the County he was elected to serve?

Since his name is on the title of a Cape Coral house with a claimed homestead exemption (requiring permanent Florida residency), has the sheriff yielded/forfeited/lost his Illinois residency?

DownByTheRiver said...

Also, look at the Nygrens 'Mortgage Documents" I am providing at my blog

Hey David –

Just to sharpen your game a bit, consider my following comments. Consider too, that I also feel Nygren has to go, both as a usually reliable Republican primary voter myself, but as a concerned resident of McHenry County.

While the loan on the Florida house is HIGHER than what is CURRENTLY considered by Lee County as the “fair market value”, you should take into account that when the home was purchased, mid-to-late 2006, we were still in the heady days of the apogee of home pricing. We don’t really know what the purchase price was, do we? I can’t imagine that a solid (at the time) appraisal of the Florida property was not used to inform the bank’s loan. I was an appraiser, and I can say that at that time, my own home would have been worth $155,000. Now, I’d be lucky with to realize $120,000 – IF I could sell. Florida, especially higher-end properties at this time, have fallen MUCH, much further.

However, it might also appear that the Nygrens’ went with as little “down” as possible – perhaps near to 0%. Also know that in these “heady” days, a lender could stretch a loan as much as 110% of purchase price. If, on the other hand, it were a conventional loan with 20% down, you’re looking at a purchase price of $875,000 or so! Either way, should it please us, the “Walrus” is certainly “upside” down on this property, anywhere from $180,000 to as much as $350,000+, depending on what the circumstances really were at the time of purchase. Hell, at this point, they could be upside down on the Minocqua property as well.

Having been an appraiser, I can also tell you that many, many folks are either house-rich or house-poor, depending on the way you want to look at it. I look at it as “house-poor” myself. I think being extended like this is stupid, personally. When you’re close to retirement, you want to tie up loose ends and sell vacation property first (Minocqua), and you don’t buy a “retirement” property (Coral Gables) any more than 1 year out from retirement.

The problem here is that they either can’t sell Minocqua for what they feel it’s worth (or what they owe), or Keith needs to put in 4 more years as Sheriff in order to realize his retirement plan and/or make up for his property losses in the current climate.


DownByTheRiver said...

That’s been my whole point from the beginning – we’re talking about COMPLACENCY, something we don’t need in the person of the Sheriff of this County. Keith’s just putting his time in – and that’s all. Any “boat-rocking” of his situation endangers his dream – hence his “glaring at Gus in the parking lot. Do we want a smooth and happy retirement for Keith, or do we want the best McHenry County Sheriff possible? If indeed his wife is a teacher, and depending upon what their respective pensions will be, they will both have a rather high guaranteed stream of income yearly that you and I can only dream about. He needs to reach his “magic number” before retiring in order to service all the debt obligations he currently has on all this property. Considering that he has the Minocqua property (fine as a vacation home when one lives in Northern Illinois), there’s no reason to also go ahead and purchase a sumptuous retirement property in Florida, unless you plan to retire soon. Putting in “4 more years” is probably only necessary at this time in order to assure a higher retirement income in order to service this personal debt, and to make up for his “losses” on his properties as a whole.

Thus, I think that his run for re-election is simply a gambit to increase his pension and make up for property losses, NOT to serve the McHenry County residents as Sheriff TO THE BEST OF HIS ABILITIES. So the question is, to we want to help Keith out on his real estate/retirement problems (his increased pension we’ll all pay for in increased taxes), or do we want someone in there who wants to simply serve our residents? Do we want a Sheriff who is only interested in himself, doesn’t want the “boat rocked”, and getting out on a financial high note; or do we want someone in there who is willing to work hard, who expects to fill the office of Sheriff for many years, as opposed to “4 MORE YEARS JUST FOR ME”?


Gus said...

DBTR, I think I read somewhere that the purchase price of the Cape Coral property was $640,000.

If a lender were willing to stick its neck out for an extra 10%, that could explain a $698,000 loan (but on a secondary home?). One would think a bank would require adequate collateral, and it probably has so required.

DownByTheRiver said...

I think David, on the issue of the “second home” rider, the Nygrens’ signed pledge is not so much that the property will not be their “primary” residence (never actually pledged in word or promised), but is simply a pledge that the property will NOT be used as either a rental or a time-share. The whole clause needs to be taken in its entirety to make sense.

If they subjected the property to rentals, or as a time-share, their loan would be subject to many other restrictions by the bank, as well as a much higher interest rate. THAT’S what that rider is all about. I don’t think it’s meant to restrict them from a seeking a Homestead exemption, just that it will remain a private residence dedicated to the sole enjoyment and ownership of the Nygrens’. Any participation in a rental, a rental pool or timeshare agreements means that the banks’ interest in the property would be subjugated to external contracts and agreements, which would necessitate a loan at a higher interest rate and a different set of circumstances.

As such, the Rider and the Loan as written, means that the financial interest in the property is between the Bank and the Nygrens – that they pledge there will not be ANY other contractual interests invested in the property. Technically (as far as the bank is concerned), they can have as many "“second homes" as they wish.


DownByTheRiver said...

Gus -

His and his wife's GUARANTEED Public pensions would be MORE than sufficient for a 110% loan.

ESPECIALLY because, "I'm planning in selling my vacation property in Minocqua because I'm retiring soon".

AND PLUS if Marge is also STILL a public employee and combined they're making close to $200,000 per year, and with their itemized interest deductions?

No Sweat! It's all about Keith's retirement, NOT about serving the residents of McHenry COunty.


Gus said...

A mortgage calculator shows a monthly payment of $3,747 for a 30-year 5% loan on $698,000.

Add a little house payment on a property in Hebron and maybe a bigger payment on a property in Minocqua, and I think a property owner would start to sweat a little, if his income stream were threatened. Add also property taxes and insurance and utilities and repairs and maintenance.

Pretty soon you're talking about some real money.

DownByTheRiver said...

Actually, Curious1, it’s more like $150 for the Hebron property. Are you even familiar with your own Property Tax bill? If there’s an exemption in the Minocqua property as well, who knows what the break is? On the Cape Coral Property, it’s MUCH, MUCH more valuable. And then we’d have THREE Homestead exemptions for TWO owners, with only ONE truly LEGAL homestead? You’d probably be the first in line to complain about an unwarranted $150+ ticket that either Keith or his storm troopers might write you, yet you blow this off?

You miss the point entirely, Curious1!!!! Nygren is a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. The top law enforcement officer for YOUR County. YOU can’t get away with this flimflam – so why should Keith? Are you saying that Keith should be able to get away with any legal infraction HE wants, while you are subject to the very same laws that he chooses to disregard?

YOU are held to these laws, and you’re saying he SHOULD NOT BE? What are YOU smoking – I’m only asking because I don’t have a reliable source for my chemical bliss, and I’d hope you might turn me on to a supplier! LOL! Go have a drink with Max, why don’t you? Are you used to saying, “Thank you Sir, may I have another?”

Your disregarding this problem means that this is another extra few hundred bucks that YOU and I will have to pay for good ol’ Keith – it’s great that you want Keith’s retirement to be nice and happy and smooth at YOUR and MY expense.

Yep, while my retirement is questionable, I certainly am concerned that Keith is OK, god bless him, for all he’s done for us – NOT!


DownByTheRiver said...

That's right Gus -

And if I'm correct, that's the SOLE reason why Nygren wants to be re-elected.

His financial arrangements are the SOLE reason why he wishes us to re-elect him, our benevolence for that which he thinks we will believe is his for OURS?



DownByTheRiver said...

Esentially, what Keith is hoping for is that you will disregard HIS financial needs in the election. That you will think that his being re-elected is all about OUR needs for good law enforcement, NOT HIS needs for enough money.

So, what do YOU want? A nice retirement for Keith, or good law enforcement for the county?

I don't know about you, but I want what I'm paying for, I want a "clean" county government. I don't care a whit about his and his wife's ALREADY generous retirement potential that I'VE already more than paid for.

I don't believe I'm stupid for owning my ONE modest home that has fallen in value. I get to live here, AND I'm entitled to my Homestead Exemption.

But I'll be damned if I have to help pay for a man's own follies, especially if he is THREE TIMES as "stupid" as I am.


Curious1 said...

Again. You seem to be ignoring the fact that a certificate of error was proactively filed early this year. The 2 counties assessors communicated early this year, an in their view the correct legal change has already been made and only one exemption is being taken. Now I expect those just looking for an excuse to attack the man will just completely change the argument they started, but at least let's get the fact right.

DownByTheRiver said...

Again, sticking up for sleaze, Curious1?

I have not ignored, nor did I state anything about a certificate of error. More like a certificate of scam, I’d say.

So – big deal, there would appear to be a mutual “gentlemen’s agreement” on the part of the two particular Assessors to not make a big deal about the whole thing. I guess I can understand their individual motivations in that regard, perhaps even particularly in that Keith seems to be politically active, both up here and down there. The Assessors have to stay in office and pay their personal bills too!

But let’s get this fact right, Curious1 –

You appear totally sanguine about any and all law breaking, as long as it is one of YOUR elected officials, someone YOU support? What IS that? Are you an abused spouse OR a doormat? Why would you allow them to get a break that you yourself probably cannot get, or they themselves would likely not allow you?

If you like dominance and authority, come on over! I’ve got a closet full of leather! LOL!

The reason the whole damn country us so F’ed-U is folks like you. You turn your back and pretend not to notice wrongdoing by your elected officials, but call the authorities if someone leaves their garbage cans at the street.

If YOU follow the laws, and offer up your “pound of flesh” each and every year, you’re telling me I doesn’t bother you when others are held to a lesser standard, and in so doing, it costs YOU more money? Yeah, right.


Curious1 said...

Just so I'm clear what the critics are arguing. Is the argument that a previously already resolved tax error of a few hundred dollars is the big conspiracy or is it the fact that you believe they should be taking the larger tax break here and thus paying less in taxes to our County?

Gus said...

Correction... The Sale Price on 9/15/06 was $620,000, according to Lee County, Florida Property Appraiser records.

David J. Bachmann said...

DBTR... My skills are sharpened.. I never spoke about the 'appraised' value as you suggest.. I have no idea what the home appraised for.

I am told, the SELLING PRICE was $620,000.00 THE BANK LOANED ... well you saw it..

So, the appraisal had nothing to do with anything the banker gave.

Finance 100 percent, yea, no problem... finance 70,000.00 OVER SELLING PRICE.... "Priceless!"

Gus, now I see why you had a heart attack.. You can put the documents right in front on people, and they still see something not there..

Appraisal.. sheesh;; to funny!

Im offline Gus, it's been fun!

DownByTheRiver said...

Hey David,

Not rebutting you, just want to make sure that "your game", which is justified (and promising, I might add) succeeds and that we end up with a real sheriff!

As I previously outlined, back in the "good old days of '06, 110% mortgages were typical and possible, so that scenario works with all the other information you've provided.

Works better in fact, as I believe anyone to be so far out of whack financially on a piece of property must "have a screw loose" anyway, regardless of all else you have uncovered.

For Keith, it's all about the money and his sunny retirement obviously - law enforcement is only secondary! And it is our money, isn't it?




Gene said...

You can have only ONE homestead. Nygren has apparently chosen to call FL home. That's great. Now resign and go away to FL. We all know you are going to serve a partial term and try to pass off your office to Lowery. Notice that the house in FL was $620,000, the WI one is valued at $520,000 and the house he uses here to remain in office is only $250-300,000. It just shows where his priorities are. And they're not in mchenry county unless it's payday. I'm sure he has direct deposit to save unnecessary trips back to IL.