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Florida Property Tax Reform

Posted December 1st, 2006.

There is a serious problem with property tax right now in Florida. The Florida homestead exemption that was put in place years a go has backfired and split Florida homewoners between the have and have-nots of the benefit.

 The homestead exemption does two things for homesteaded residents.

  1. In gives them a $25,000 deduction off of the amount their homesteaded property can be assesed for taxes.
  2. It caps the amount that their assesed property value can go up to 3% per year.

Unfortunately, you do not realize how unfair caping property tax increases is until the following happens:

  1. Homeowners have been capped for 10+ years
  2. Property values increase dramatically
  3. New homeowners, businesses, landlords, and seasonal residents get taxed based on current market values after these large value increases.

You end up with people living next door to someone in a similar model house within the same development paying 10 times the taxes. This in no way can be fairly justified. Landords (and in turn renters), seasonal residents, business owners, and newer buyers end up assuming all of the tax burden and will be run out of the state.

Fortunately, there is a reform committe that is meeting regarding this and also a website to voice your opinion:

Florida Property Tax Reform Committee

If this issue affects you, you are encouraged to visit the website and share your thoughts. I hope that our newly elected governor, Charlie Crist, and this reform committee will solve the problem.