Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Florida Property Tax Reform to go on ballot January 29

Voters will have to approve by a 60% majority votes the property tax reform approved by the House and Senate, Monday October 29.

The trimmed down package will reduce the average homeowner tax by an estimated $220 per year. By increasing the homestead exemption to $ 50,000, (excluding school taxes – which brings it at only about $40,000), this will hardly jump start the stalled real estate market, but it is the only choice homeowners will have next January. Take it or leave it. So, we’ll take the $ 220. We were promised that taxes would drop “like a rock”. Let’s see.

A positive provision is the portability of the “save our homes” protection, albeit also truncated to a maximum of $ 500,000. It will allow some people to move out of their homes, to upgrade or downgrade. That will possibly be a factor on the market.

The losers:
- Non- homesteaded owners, which will hardly see any difference.
- New home buyers, who will have to live with the $ 220 savings.
- Commercial properties owners who got nothing, but a small tax cut.

Consolation prize: 10% yearly cap on assessments increase for non-homesteaded properties, up from the previously 5% approved by the house. Should we add that it’s sounds like a ridiculous provision.

Anyway, they kept their promise.
Property Tax will drop.

Like a pebble.

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