July 14 2022 Updated 11:25 A.M. ET
LEE COUNTY (FLV) – An anonymous editorial claimed Lee County School Board candidate Jada Langford-Fleming’s homestead is in Hendry County.
VERDICT: False. Jada Langford-Fleming‘s homestead is not in Hendry County.
Langford-Fleming’s parents own a home in Hendry County. Langford-Fleming is the “remainderman” of the property, therefore, it cannot be her homestead.
Langford-Fleming moved to Alva in 2009 and has lived in Lee County since then. In fact, Langford-Fleming did not realize her Lee County home was not homesteaded until the editorial.
Florida residents are not required to file for homestead but Langford-Fleming did Thursday.
If someone does not have a homestead exemption, they are paying taxes on the full value of the home instead of receiving a homestead exemption of up to $50,000.
The editorial led to attacks from activist Tara Jenner on Facebook who claimed Langford-Fleming should have noted the Hendry County property as an asset when filling out a financial disclosure form.
Florida’s Voice spoke with Title Examiner Michael Interbartolo who looked at the deed. Interbartolo said the property is not considered Jada Langford-Fleming’s asset unless the “life tenants” (Jada Langford-Fleming’s parents) die. Langford-Fleming also confirmed that it is not an asset of hers unless her parents die.
Life estates are also popular in Florida, according to Interbartolo. The editorial was used to claim the candidate has a “character flaw.”
“These are the types of tactics you expect from a desperate campaign that recognizes they are losing and will go to any length to discredit their opponent. These are also the same tactics we’ve seen from sitting school board members and is part of the reason I decided to run. This is more of the status quo and the exact opposite of what we need on the school board,” Langford-Fleming said.
Interbartolo commented on Jenner’s post saying she should publicly apologize to Jada Langford-Fleming for the factually incorrect post.
“This isn’t an asset of hers. Jada and her immediate family reside in Lee County,” Interbartolo said on Facebook. “Please get your facts straight before you make personal attacks upon someone’s character.”
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