Monday, June 11, 2007

Update from Carl Domino regarding tax changes

The letter below was sent to me via e-mail from Rep. Carl Domino who is in favor of the portability issues regarding save our homes. Realistically, the solution that has been proposed has several drawbacks. It is a step in the right direction because it has the potential of ending the current cap issues. The current solution provides for exponential cost savings every year for homesteaded properties. This new solution is (to some extent) a linear cost savings. In other words, we aren't getting as far out of whack. However, it still allows homeowners to opt to remain under the old system and, more importantly, does not address the problems associated with non-homesteaded properties. Renters and employers will bear the largest burden under the new scheme. The good news is that that burden will begin to be less proportional.

Letter from the Representative:



Finally after a 4 year battle we are beginning to see a consensus growing
around property tax relief. While we do not have details much of the proposal provides meaningful and responsible tax relief. This week in Tallahassee we will iron out details and work hard to ensure that taxes will remain affordable.

The plan has two parts:

1. A rollback on millage rates - this is legislation which can be passed in our special session. It will result in reduced tax bills for all property owners in the state. This reduction should be reflected in this year's tax bill. Additionally, and equally important, the growth in future tax revenues will be restricted.

2. Constitutional change. The Legislature will vote on a change in the Constitution, which will substitute a progressive property tax system for the current protection of Save Our Homes. It is projected that about 70% of individuals will pay lower taxes under this system. The remaining people can elect to retain Save Our Homes.

This proposal has to receive support from 60% of legislators in the special session. To get it on the ballot in January 2008, it needs approval of 75% of the members of each house of the legislature. Then it will need approval of 60% of the electorate. The change in tax bills will be reflected two years from now.

Unfortunately, neither portability nor elimination of the "best and highest"
use for appraisals will be included. Without portability 30% of homesteaded property owners will face a significant tax increase if they choose to sell their property and purchase a home of equal or higher value. This further devastates the dreams of many Floridians who wish to move.

Since it is a progressive tax scheme, it will be the higher end home owner
who will elect not to move - costing real estate agents important commission revenues.

We will continue to fight for portability and invite your continued input and your thoughts on the proposals.

Carl J. Domino

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