One day after voting to provide $15 million in Hurricane Michael ad valorem tax relief to Bay and Gulf Counties, Triumph Gulf Coast has distributed those funds. Triumph Gulf Coast has delivered $10,728,316 to Bay County and $4,271,683 to Gulf County from its Hurricane Michael Major Disaster Relief Fund.
The funds are to be used by the counties, the local school boards and municipalities to replace estimated shortfalls in ad valorem tax collections due to the hurricane. The purpose of the relief funds is to provide the local governments the ability to continue with normal operations in public safety, school operations and other regular uses of ad valorem revenues. The funds are specifically not to be used for special projects or any additional property purchases.
In Bay County, the funds will be distributed by the County as follows:
Retain by the County for General Fund: $3,082,615
Disburse to MSTU-Fire: $248,597
Disburse to Mosquito Control: $151,524
Bay District Schools RLE: $3,269,064
Bay District School Discretionary: $1,631,330
City of Panama City: $1,216,659
City of Mexico Beach: $523,580
City of Springfield: $87,990
City of Callaway: $130,038
City of Lynn Haven: $386,915
In Gulf County, the funds will be distributed by the County as follows:
Retain by the County for General Fund: $2,168,232
Gulf County School District: $2,001,455
City of Port St. Joe: $88,146
City of Wewahitchka: $13,847
Board Member Ben Lee, Lynn Haven, said, “I am grateful Triumph Gulf Coast has provided critical funding to our area that was so badly devastated by Hurricane Michael. The impact of what these funds are doing to help sustain our communities and help our residents is a great first step towards progress for our area. We are also looking to Washington to further assist us with our rebuilding efforts. Together, we will come back more united, stronger and better.”
Board Member Jason Shoaf, Port St. Joe, added, “I watched as Hurricane Michael destroyed much of my community, and as soon as it had passed, I helped my friends and neighbors pick up the pieces. But we cannot do this alone, we need the support from our state and federal partners. I am proud to be a part of Triumph Gulf Coast, and I am thrilled that we’re injecting $15 million to support the cities and counties impacted most by Hurricane Michael. This investment can go a long way to help the families of North Florida at a time when they need it the most. Now, it is incumbent upon the cities and counties to be judicious and responsible in utilizing these funds so they can bring maximum benefit to these devastated communities.”
Triumph’s board of directors is appointed by the Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and presiding officers of the legislature. Board members include Dr. Pam Dana, Stephen Riggs IV, Jason Shoaf, Allan Bense, Don Gaetz, Lewis Bear, Jr. and Ben Lee.