Frontline Florida Realty Blog

Florida Property Tax

June 15th, 2007 11:20 AM by Alan Martin

Dear Property Tax Reform Supporter:

 

Yesterday the Legislature passed a historic property tax relief and reform package that will cut property taxes for property owners in Florida by almost $32 billion dollars statewide over the next five years.

 

We have a simple message for Florida’s property owners: help is on the way.  The $32 billion dollars in relief will make a real difference in the lives of Floridians – this isn’t just a first step forward, it is the first giant leap forward – still, I believe more can be done. There is more waste that can be cut from government, government can provide greater value to the taxpayers, there are more taxpayer protections that must be put in place, and there are greater tax savings that this Legislature can provide to Floridians.

  

The centerpiece of the plan is the constitutional amendment that Florida voters will vote on January 29, 2008. House Joint Resolution 3B will provide the greatest savings for Florida’s homeowners by creating a “Super Homestead” exemption which will provide an average 44% reduction on most home-owners tax bills. The constitutional amendment eliminates inequities in our current property tax system, provides Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax relief to Florida’s businesses and eliminates 77%  - more than $1 million – of Florida’s small businesses from the TPP tax rolls, helps businesses by pumping more money into our economy, and helps non-homestead owners by lowering the barriers to homeownership, and lets property owners choose how their homes will be taxed in the future.

 

The property tax relief and reform package approved yesterday also includes a statutory tax relief bill, House Bill 1B, that will immediately cut taxes and cap future tax increases for all property owners; limit local governments’ ability to unnecessarily raise taxes in the future; and provide immediate savings to homeowners, second homeowners, and commercial property owners.

 

The only limits to our future success as a state are the unfair limits government applies to our people through unnecessary taxation – it will be the charge of the House of Representatives, as long as I preside over it, to destroy those barriers to prosperity.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marco Rubio

Speaker, Florida House of Representatives

 

 

The bills approved yesterday:

 

HJR 3B by Representative Cannon “Property Tax: Constitutional Relief & Reform”

 

  • Offers $16 billion of tax relief over five years.

The savings by property type in 2008 are:

  • Average Homestead switching from Save Our Homes: 44% ($1,306)
  • Average Non-homestead Residential: 8% ($245)
  • Average Commercial/Industrial: 8% ($1,240)
  • Average Tangible Personal Property savings: 17% ($262)

 

  • Allows homeowners to choose between Save Our Homes or the new plan.
  • No one will lose their current Save Our Homes protections unless they choose to.
  • Homeowners will be allowed to choose between their current Save Our Homes protections or the new, “Super Homestead” and expanded taxpayer protections under the constitutional amendment.
  • This creates a form of portability for homeowners who would otherwise lose significant tax savings when they move.
  • Rather than starting over with only a $25,000 homestead exemption and zero Save Our Homes protections, the homeowner would immediately have a homestead exemption up to $195,000 as soon as they move in.

 

  • Creates a new “Super Homestead” exemption to transform the inequitable Florida property tax system.
  • The new exemption covers 75% of the first $200,000 of value and 15% of the next $300,000.
  • Thus, the maximum super exemption is $195,000.
  •  All homesteads will receive at least a $50,000 exemption.
  • Qualifying low-income seniors will receive at least a $100,000 exemption.
  • The upper $500,000 threshold is indexed to grow with changes in Florida personal income, which generally increases 4% per year.

 

  • Authorizes a new $25,000 Tangible Personal Property (TPP) exemption for businesses.
  • This creates immediate savings of hundreds of dollars for TPP-paying business owners.
  • It also eliminates the administrative burden of filing a tax return for $1 million of Florida’s 1.3 million businesses that pay tangible personal.

 

  • Authorizes targeted relief for affordable housing and working waterfront properties. Implements tax reform and relief for 2008 tax bills, provided the Legislature votes for a special election in January 2008 (HB 5B).

 

 

HB 1B by Representative Attkisson Property Tax: Immediate Statutory Relief”

 

  • Creates meaningful and immediate tax relief for all properties in Florida this year.
  • Homestead property owners save an average of 7% ($174).
  • Non-homestead residential property owners save an average of 7% ($199).
  • Commercial/industrial property owners save an average of 6% ($941).
  • Tangible personal property taxpayers save an average of 6% ($92).

 

  • Requires all local governments except school districts to cut taxes this year.
  • First, cities, counties, and independent special districts must reduce taxes for the 2007-2008 Fiscal Year by adopting the 2006-2007 tax levy, adjusted for new construction (i.e., adopt the rolled-back rate).
  • Next, cities and counties must further reduce taxes by a factor based on whether they have recently levied property taxes responsibly or excessively, compared to a statewide average. The reduction factor will be 3%, 5%, 7%, or 9%.
  • All independent special districts are required to implement the 3% reduction factor.

 

  • Requires all local governments except school districts to cap annual property tax revenue growth.
  • Property tax revenue growth will only be allowed to increase in proportion to population growth (i.e., new construction) and growth of Florida personal income (which averages 4% annually).
  • A revenue cap creates unprecedented protections for all Florida properties – especially commercial properties and non-homestead residential properties, which currently have no specific protection.

 

  • Protects taxpayers while allowing local flexibility by requiring a rigorous procedure to override the required revenue cap.
  • Depending on the extent to which the local authority wants to exceed the revenue cap, varying supermajority votes are required.
  • A slight increase requires a 2/3 vote, while a larger increase will require either a unanimous vote or approval by local voters.

 

  • Implements provisions authorized in the constitutional reform plan (HJR 3B).
  • The implemented provisions are:
  • The new “super” homestead exemption.
  • The new homestead exemption for low-income seniors.
  • The grandfathering provisions that allow certain homeowners to maintain Save Our Homes benefits.
  • Homeowners will be allowed to choose between their current Save Our Homes protections or the new, “Super Homestead” and expanded taxpayer protections under the constitutional amendment.
  • The new tax protections for affordable housing.
Posted in:General
Posted by Alan Martin on June 15th, 2007 11:20 AM


great stuff, thanks for telling us about it
Posted by Alan Martin on June 15th, 2007 11:23 AM
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