Tutt issues memo revealing costs to Villages residents in IRS battle

The legal fees have been adding up in the protracted battle between the Internal Revenue Service and the Villages.

A memo this week from District Manager Janet Tutt indicates that the legal fees billed to the Amenity Authority Committee from March 2008 to Oct. 1, 2013 have amounted to $380,640.74.

AAC members had asked in December that Tutt regularly report to them the amount of legal fees that have been expended on the IRS audit of the Series 2003A and Series 2003B Recreational Revenue Bonds.

That amount includes $309,567.41 billed by attorney Perry Israel; $2,020 billed by attorney Lewis Stone and $69,053.33 billed by attorney Archie Lowry.

But the $380,640.74 represents only about half of the legal bill.

Another nearly $400,000 in legal costs is being borne by CDD government.

Two Villages officials independently confirmed that the AAC legal bill represented only half of the legal tab thus far.

The Village Center Community Development District issued $426.2 million of tax-exempt bonds from late November 1993 through June 1, 2004 to finance the acquisition of recreational and other facilities as well as a utility system for the Villages.

“The IRS has ruled that bonds sold by the community development district that issued $426 million of debt aren’t tax-exempt. Securities issued by Village Center Community Development District, created by developer Gary Morse, don’t provide tax-free income because the entity isn’t a political arm of the state, according to an IRS memo dated May 30,” Tutt said in a statement earlier this year.

Janet Tutt
Janet Tutt