Hedge funder sues Palm Beach property appraiser over $44M mansion

1695 North Ocean Way and Kenneth Tropin (Credit: Getty Images)
1695 North Ocean Way and Kenneth Tropin (Credit: Getty Images)

A $600,000 tax bill was apparently too much for hedge fund manager Kenneth Tropin, who just launched a lawsuit against the Palm Beach County property appraiser disputing the fees.

Tropin, acting through a trust in his name, grabbed headlines in March when he paid nearly $44 million for the oceanfront spec house at 1695 North Ocean Way in Palm Beach, which was developed by Pat Carney. The five-bedroom home and its nearly 24,000 square feet of living space had been completed just a month prior.

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All seemed well until November, according to the Palm Beach Daily News, when Tropin received a tax bill from property appraiser Gary Nikolits. The assessment, which had taken place in January, pegged the property’s value at $37.34 million — $32.77 million of which was considered taxable.

Tropin’s suit contends that since the home got its certificate of occupancy in February, after the assessment was made, it shouldn’t have been labeled as “substantially completed” for billing purposes. The complaint names Nikolits, Tax Collector Anne Gannon and Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Leon Biegalski as defendants.

Tropin is asking the circuit court to knock out the bill and have a new assessment issued, according to the Daily News. Even with the lawsuit, Tropin’s trust paid the tax bill in full during November. [Palm beach Daily News] — Sean Stewart-Muniz