In 2019, residents of The Villages, an iconic retirement community in Florida, were suddenly hit with a 25 percent hike in their property taxes. In the master-planned community of 130,000 across the state’s Sumter, Lake, and Marion counties, many residents are on fixed incomes. The tax hikes were intended to subsidize new developments south of the community, rather than cover new amenities or upgrades for current residents. The entity known locally either as “the developer” or “the family” benefited from the tax hike and could then escape paying fees associated with the expansion of their development. This week on Deconstructed, host Ryan Grim takes us to The Villages to meet residents who banded together to rollback the tax hike but who were ultimately blocked by powerful players. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the local political machine run by The Villages fought the residents, leading to one of their champions being thrown in jail.
Transcript coming soon.
This content originally appeared on The Intercept and was authored by Deconstructed.