Broward County properties busted for ‘rent-a-cow’ practice

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -The Broward Property Appraiser’s Office busted 127 properties it says used agricultural exemptions to receive big tax breaks — a practice commonly called “rent-a-cow.”

After a Local 10 investigation found Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) received a tax break for having a few cows on its property in Southwest Ranches, Broward Property Appraiser Lori Parrish’s office stripped the private prison company of what she said was a bogus agricultural exemption.

“The exemption was removed, there’s been no protest,” she said.

The removal will add $50,000 to county coffers.

“You need a lot of money to run our town, instead of spending it and frivolously giving tax breaks to all the corporations,” said Jill, who lives in Southwest Ranches.

For $10 a year, CCA had a contract with land seller Ron Bergeron to provide cows on the property, a practice used by many landowners to avoid paying taxes. Parrish said the company was unable to provide evidence that it ever had cows on the property.

“I think that’s just an absurd idea — to rent a cow — and be able to get the ag exemption on the property,” said local activist Ryann Greenberg.

The property appraiser’s office has audited 10 percent of county properties claiming agricultural exemptions.

“Lots of properties have lost classifications,” said Parrish. “We look at properties on an ongoing basis.”

Included in those 127 properties that lost their agriculture exemptions were ones owned by former Miami Marlin Charles Johnson and Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas.

“When you cheat the system, you cheat all of us and all of us pay more,” said Parrish.

Parrish said the county has lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of bogus agricultural exemptions.


Water Heater Repair in Miami FL

Water Heater Repair in Miami FL

Effective Water Heater Replacement Tips

Experiencing water heater problems are normal. Usually, these issues start small and develop over time if left unnoticed. When this happens, there is a chance that a simple repair won’t do the trick. All you can do is to replace your water heater system to continue having access to hot water. But how would you know if your unit needs a repair or a replacement? If you need help in determining the problem of your water heater, do not hesitate to contact a specialist right away. Remember, it is important to turn off your heating source before working with your unit. This will ensure your safety and protection during the repair process.

Do not allow excessive pressure in your tank to build up. You can prevent this problem by adjusting the setting of your temperature. This will protect your tank from overheating or exploding unexpectedly. There is no need to repeat this step once you have a stable temperature. Doing this also avoids scalding the members of your family.

Once your water heater produces water that is not warm enough, increase its temperature right away. Someone in your house may have changed its setting, preventing it from generating hot water. Wait for a few minutes and feel the water coming out of your tap. You may ask help from a specialist if the problem persists.

Your water heater can have too much pressure inside if your T&P valve is not working properly. This valve is responsible for releasing pressure build up that protects your tank from blowing up unexpectedly. It is important to make sure that your T&P valve is working all the time. Test it by lifting the lever and allowing it to snap back on its own. You should notice water draining from the overflow pipe once the lever is lifted. If you think your valve is not working, buy a replacement as soon as possible. Water can leak easily if you have a defective T&P valve.

Once your water heater stops producing enough water, check if there are mineral deposits sitting at the bottom of your tank. These sediments can reduce the efficiency of your unit, causing it to generate insufficient hot-water. You can remove the sediments by draining and flushing your unit regularly. If it doesn’t fix the problem, check your dip tube for cracks. Having a broken dip tube can cause the cold water to hit the hot-water pipes without being heated properly. Replacing the dip tube immediately should solve the problem.

Sometimes, the quality of your water may be affected if you let minerals sit inside your tank for a long time. Your water may start smelling bad or discolor if the sediments are too heavy for your unit to handle. Using a water softener or regular draining should stop this from happening. If your water turns rusty in a short period of time, check your anode rod. Once you see metal wires around it, have it replaced by a professional. This sacrificial rod is responsible for protecting your tank from corrosion.

It is important not to leak your unit leak to prevent damaging your internal tank. If you let hard water mineral deposits remain inside your tank, holes may start appearing overtime. Some prefer patching the holes to avoid a costly replacement unit. However, doing this will only affect the efficiency of your unit, costing you a lot on your energy bill.

These are some areas to check on whenever you think you need a replacement or not. However, it is recommended to look for a replacement unit before your water heater breaks down completely. Doing this gives you enough time in searching for the best unit for your household needs. When in doubt, contact a specialist for professional help.

We provide the best water heater repair in Miami, FL. No job is too big or small for us. We’ll make sure that your water heater will be back working in no time.