Letter: Please expose John Valdes
St Augustine, FL
Dear Historic City News editor:
The enclosed letter and documents have been mailed to Michael A. Lischio with the St. Johns County Property Appraiser. He will investigate for Homestead fraud, etc. You may wish to contact him and request records of his investigation, as I and others hope you will publish a story about Valdes’ hypocrisy and that he is corrupt and cannot follow his own rules.
In the matter of the property at 343 St George Street in Saint Augustine, as of April 15, 2019, I found that the property is owned by John Valdes and Charlu Reigle.
- Property receives homestead exemption. Please investigate if property owner is receiving 100% exemption.
- Garage apartment on property is a vacation rental. See Airbnb document for the vacation rental listing titled “Tree House Cottage in Historic Downtown St Aug”. Go to Google and search for the listing’s exact name. When you locate the listing, scroll thru the photographs. I find photograph 6/7 is clearly the garage apartment behind 343 St. George Street, and in the lower left corner you will see Valdes’ construction sign, and above the center garage bay the FAKE address “344” Charlotte Street. Visit Charlotte Street behind 343 St. George street, and you will see for yourself. Tax avoidance and tax fraud are distinguishable. The fake address 344 Charlotte Street is very suspicious.
- The Airbnb host for the listing is not the property owner.
- Local Business Tax- the property owner is not registered to collect and remit the 4% Bed Tax with St. Johns County Tax Collector. If owner of property was properly registered to collect and remit the 4% Bed Tax, the “Occupation” would indicate “RENTAL PROPERTY”.
- State Sales and Use Tax- Is the property owner registered with the Florida Department of Revenue to collect and remit the 6 1/2% Sales and Use Tax?
- Is the property owner licensed with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels and Restaurants?
Valdes is a bleeding-heart liberal who wants everyone else to create affordable housing with their rental property, yet he rents out his garage apartment to tourists.
You are the only news outlet who I have provided this information. Please expose Valdes.
Editor note: This unsigned letter was received at our offices last week, supported with copies of a search of records from the St Johns County Tax Collector’s files, copies of a two-page advertisement for a two bedroom/one bathroom “tree house cottage” for $139/night published by AirBnB with reviews, and a four-page report with map and drawings from the St Johns County Property Appraiser’s files. The letter is being provided “as is” and has not been independently verified. All of the items provided must be verified before taking any action on this letter to the editor.