House passes $11 billion property tax relief plan

by October 25, 2007 • 0 comments

This week The House passed an $11 billion property tax relief plan that will “preserve Save Our Homes, ensure portability of accumulated Save Our Homes benefits, it will cap year-to-year increases on non-homestead and commercial properties, and provide all homestead property owners a Guaranteed Save Our Homes benefit.” Full release as from Florida House District 6, Representative Jimmy Patronis:

HOUSE PASSES $11 BILLION PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PLAN WITH STRONG BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT

TALLAHASSEE – A bi-partisan coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Florida House overwhelmingly supported an improved property tax reform plan today expected to provide over $11 billion dollars in property tax relief during the next four years. The measure (CS/SJR 2D) passed by a 108 to 2 vote.

The plan preserves Save Our Homes, ensures portability of accumulated Save Our Homes benefits, caps year-to-year increases on non-homestead and commercial properties, and provides all homestead property owners a Guaranteed Save Our Homes benefit. If approved by the Senate, the measure will once again give Floridians the opportunity to vote for meaningful property tax reform on January 29, 2008.

“The plan we passed today accomplishes is a strong step forward for property tax relief,” said Chairman Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park), the lead property tax negotiator in the Florida House. “It provides meaningful relief to Floridians suffering under the weight of oppressive taxes, it reforms a broken property tax system that is riddled with inequities, and it creates new protections for all property owners from unchecked property tax hikes in the future.”

“The revised approach passed today addresses the concerns we heard last week from Senators and Representatives of both parties,” said Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R-Delray Beach). “It’s a bi-partisan approach that is a significant improvement over the original plan – it delivers the same amount of relief but in a more efficient manner.”

The measure passed today:

  • Preserves Save Our Homes.
  • Allows “portability” of accumulated Save Our Homes (SOH) benefits.
    • Homeowners may transfer their SOH benefit to a new homestead anywhere in Florida within 2 years of leaving their former homestead
    • If “upsizing” to a home of equal or greater just value, the homestead owner can transfer 100% of the SOH benefit to the new homestead, up to a $1 million transferred benefit.
    • If “downsizing” to a home with a lower just value, the homestead owner can transfer a SOH benefit that that protects the same percentage of value as it did the former homestead, up to a $1 million benefit.
  • Provides a “Guaranteed Save Our Homes Benefit” for all homestead properties, so that all homestead owners can enjoy meaningful SOH savings without having to wait years to get them (does not apply to school tax levies).
    • All homeowners will own a SOH benefit that will accumulate on an annual basis and that can be carried with them from home to home (the “accumulated SOH benefit”).
    • If a homeowner has a small accumulated SOH benefit (like most recent homebuyers or new homestead buyers) they will receive a guaranteed exemption equal to 40% (or 100% for low-income seniors) of the county’s median just value for homesteads.
    • This is called the “Guaranteed SOH Benefit.” The Guaranteed SOH Benefit applies to home value above $50,000.
    • Along with using the county median home value approach, this will minimize the impact on small cities and counties. The homeowner will continue to build an accumulated SOH benefit. Once the accumulated SOH benefit is greater than the guaranteed benefit, the homeowner will receive the accumulated SOH benefit.
  • Provides a 5% assessment cap for all non-homestead and commercial properties in Florida to guarantee property tax predictability and protection for all property owners.
    • Non-commercial properties will be reassessed at change of ownership.
    • Non-homestead properties will be reassessed when the property undergoes a substantial modification or change of use.
  • Creates a new Tangible Personal Property Exemption of $25,000.
  • Provides for limitations on assessed values of properties used for affordable housing and working waterfronts (does not apply to school tax levies).
  • Instills accountability for all local property appraisers by requiring every appraiser to be elected.

The deadline for getting the proposal on January 29th primary ballot is Tuesday, 10/30/2007 with the Senate to meet on the topic on Monday.

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