TAMPA - The phones at the county building, and the other satellite centers of the Hillsborough Property Appraiser, were finally back up and running Tuesday morning -- sort of.
"It's intermittent today," said Will Shepherd, General Counsel for Rob Turner's Office. "We got a call last night saying we were going to be operational, but Verizon called back this morning saying we would be intermittent and in fact we have been up and down this morning."
With just hours to go in the appeal-filing deadline for folks who take issue with their proposed tax rate or exemption status, the phone outage couldn't have happened at a more inopportune time.
"It couldn't happen at a worse time," said Shepherd. "Fortunately, even when the phone lines have been up, the phone calls have been a little slow, taxable values went down approximately 2% this year, so maybe nobody has a lot to complain about."
Well, that's not necessarily true.
"Again, we don't' know…" said Bob Henriquez, who's running for the Property Appraiser in November. "I mean any individual that was not able to get through or was discouraged or missed the deadline, it was a big deal to that individual."
As a candidate for the office of Property Appraiser, Henriquez says this sort of thing shouldn't happen. He's proposing an extension to the deadline for appeals due to the cut cable conundrum, as well as the County Offices Closure during the recent Republican National Convention.
He's also proposing a computer-interface for the office, which would make phone outages not as big a deal.
"You can do everything from getting a new driver's license, applying for assistance and what not. You should be able to appeal your valuation online as well."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
There is only a 20% chance for an afternoon shower or storm. The possibility for rain will go down even more by Friday.