Property Tax Reform II
From the Palm Beach Post-
TALLAHASSEE — — Homestead owners won't have a choice about whether their home's taxable value will be based on the Save Our Homes amendment or a new "super" exemption under a tax plan that the state legislature could wrap up today.Yesterday's Post had a lengthy article detailing how property taxes would go down now, but rise in the future. My position on property reform is simple- No reform is better than any of the proposals being pushed right now.(I was lukewarm about it to start with) Our politicians are going to screw us long-term if any of this becomes law. Few will be around when taxpayers start revolting 5-10 years from now.
The plan would automatically and irrevocably take away Save Our Homes protection from homeowners who get a larger benefit from an exemption provided under the legislative measure — even if that benefit is only a few dollars and lasts only one year.
Proponents of the plan, which includes a proposed constitutional amendment that would create the exemption, have been pushing the statistic that 72.6 percent of the state's 4.3 million homesteaded households would immediately benefit an average of $1,306 when the new plan is implemented.
But they are not saying how many of those 3.2 million would see only a slight benefit that would evaporate within the first few years.
And because the amendment language states that after the new exemption is larger "in any year," a home "may not be assessed" using the existing Save Our Homes cap, homeowners would be stuck with the new exemption, even if it means a higher tax bill in the second or third year.
"Once it's gone, it's gone," said Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, one of his party's leaders on the tax issue. "So you might get that first-year savings and get whacked in the second year."
Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Orlando, who co-wrote the proposal with Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster, told Seiler during a committee meeting Wednesday that it was not fair to examine the proposed constitutional amendment merely on its financial effect on homeowners.
He predicted that homeowners who have felt "trapped" in their homesteads for fear of getting hit with a much higher tax bill when they moved would support the plan.
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