Economy Puts Dent in Local Legislators' Net Worth; Recently Filed Financial Disclosure Forms Show Some Officials Took Big Hits since 2010 Election Cycle

By Dixon, Matt | The Florida Times Union, June 14, 2012 | Go to article overview

Economy Puts Dent in Local Legislators' Net Worth; Recently Filed Financial Disclosure Forms Show Some Officials Took Big Hits since 2010 Election Cycle


Dixon, Matt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Matt Dixon

TALLAHASSEE | A sour economy and tough real estate market have not spared local elected officials, according to recently filed financial disclosure forms.

While most are still doing better than the average Northeast Florida resident, when comparing disclosure forms filed during the 2010 election cycle some area politicos took big hits.

The largest decrease hit state Rep. Ronald "Doc" Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach. The orthopedic surgeon's net worth is down $568,092 to $1.1 million.

His drop was driven by the value of his Ponte Vedra Beach home, which fell $201,400 to $629,200. His investment portfolio, which includes bank accounts mutual funds and stocks, lost $201,606. It's currently worth $652,616.

"Property values are tough right now, I think that's most of it," Renuart said.

He claimed $209,678 in income, $181,339 of which came from his salary at Baptist Primary Care.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, is down nearly $500,000 to $6.5 million. The biggest driver of that drop was a $1 million hit to a Merrill Lynch stock portfolio, records show.

"Certainly the stock portfolio is the biggest thing," he said. "It also has to do with a more realistic estimate of my property holdings probably, which may have been a bit inflated in the past."

He claimed $185,647 in income. The biggest single source was $55,900 from capital gains.

A Jacksonville home and townhouse owned by state Sen. Audrey Gibson's lost a combined $96,200 in value. Her home on 17th Street dropped from $99,000 to $47,300 after Gibson appealed its appraised value with the Duval County Property Appraiser's office.

"Do you own a home? It's tough right now," she said.

Gibson had to refile her financial disclosure report after initially listing her net worth at $53,900 instead of $16,100.

"Transferred wrong net worth amount from paper calculations," she wrote on the amended form.

Her overall net worth is down from the $111,200 she listed during her 2011 special election. …

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