Property Tax Reform IV
Save Our Homes appears safe for now.
Bowing to widespread and intense voter backlash, Florida's Republican legislative leaders said Friday that they will abandon their attempts to phase out the popular property tax break granted to all permanent state residents.I'd vote no for any property tax reform if it meant eliminating SOH. The original tax ammendment was so convoluted, I didn't know the future of Save Our Homes was at stake. I think State legislators need to take their time on this measure in order to get it right. If that means no amendment on next January's ballot, that's fine with me. Property tax reform needs to be done right if its to be done at all.
"It's clear Save Our Homes is a very popular protection that homeowners enjoy," said House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami.
"At a time when taxes keep going up, it's very difficult to go to voters and convince them they should let go of a security blanket like Save Our Homes."
Approved by voters as part of Florida's constitution in 1992, Save Our Homes limits the increase in assessments of homesteaded property to a maximum of 3 percent a year.
Longtime Floridians who have enjoyed its protections have not seen their taxes grow as rapidly as business owners or second homeowners, including snowbirds, who aren't entitled to the assessment cap.
In June, the Legislature crafted a proposed constitutional amendment designed to gradually replace Save Our Homes with a "super size" homestead exemption. But a Tallahassee-based judge yanked the amendment off the Jan. 29 ballot.
Because of the judge's decision, and citizen uproar over the plan to phase out Save Our Homes, legislative leaders plan to go into their fifth session of the year later this month to devise an alternative.
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