Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced property-tax relief for families of victims and survivors of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside in the early morning of June 24.
The announcement was made during a news conference that included statements from DeSantis, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Cava briefed the media by stating that search efforts “have now officially transitioned from search and rescue to search and recovery” and that they “are working around the clock to recover victims and to bring closure to the families as fast as we possibly can.” She stated that the death toll has reached 60, and that 80 people are still “potentially unaccounted for.” Of the 60 victims, only 35 have been identified.
DeSantis stated, “We’re … working to provide as much relief to the families from the state perspective as we can. So I’ve ordered all our folks to suspend any type of property-tax enforcement … My goal is to suspend [or] waive any law I can under the state of emergency to forestall that. Then we probably will just ask the Legislature to remit any of the property tax liability from Champlain Towers South.” He continued to say, “We’ll work hard on that and I think we’ll be able to get that done.”
Schultz stated at the conference, “In an unimaginable, unprecedented tragedy like this one, no one budgets for this, no one plans for the kind of response that is necessary.” She added, “We don’t know just what the needs are going to be. Some of them are going to be needs that we can try to accommodate by adding to the federal budget. Some of them may ultimately end up requiring an emergency supplemental appropriations bill.”
Last, Burkett stated, “It is now more critical than ever to make sure that the families have every bit of governmental and private support that can be afforded. To that end, I met with Governor DeSantis and Mayor Cava regarding the aggregation of the many support agencies. I know that getting all of our available resources to the families as soon as possible is everyone’s main goal.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]