The year before a 12-story building collapsed in south Florida that left at least 79 dead and 61 still unaccounted for, the state collected $13.7 million in fees from condominium owners associations, vacation timeshares and mobile home parks, but swept $5 million into the state’s general fund, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
Those funds, collected at the beginning of every year, are supposed to go toward educating board members and reviewing complaints, but the state has made a habit of siphoning off the funds.
Since 2008, the state has diverted $65 million of the $167 million that has been taxed, nearly 40%, into the general fund, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“For years, we’ve said please don’t sweep that fund,” Travis Moore, a lobbyist that represents Florida condo owners associations through the Community Associations Institutes, told the local newspaper. “But every year, the Legislature reallocates that money.”
The diversion of money into the state’s general fund adds to the growing fear that many warning signs of structural problems at Champlain Towers South may have been disregarded before the building came crashing down in the middle of the night on June 24.