Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New plan being proposed

Front page news - newsjournalonline.com

This article sounds much more like the solution that was proposed by Morgan Gilreath. It seams encouraging that they are looking at other solutions. It doesn't seem to address the issue of non-homesteaded property. I'm not certain if these exemptions would apply there or not. It also seems to allow for people with SOH benefits in place to continue which may be troublesome. That could cause additional tax burdens and increase the tax issue for non-homesteaded businesses and for non-homesteaded renters.

At the same time, moving to a completely percentage based solution without considering the SOH people could have a dramatic negative impact on those who have been in the same home since 1992 when their property value was locked in.

One potential solution is to allow that benefit to continue, offer a 20% exemption as an alternative across the board. As people move out of, or heir, their SOH properties, they would fall under the new plan. As more and more people come off of the SOH plan, the percentage exemption could be increased with the goal of keeping taxable value in line with the property value changes. While I haven't examined the 20% figure, Morgan Gilreath used a figure of 62% of taxable value to equal today's SOH exemption (see an earlier article) which would be a 38% exemption. If that is accurate, the 20% figure is roughly half the savings to begin with. However, many homeowners would benefit greatly from that type of reduction. As would renters and business owners, the segment of the market that we are currently attacking.

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