Please save our homes from property taxes.

The following is the response that I received last congressional sessional as the legislators called for a special session to identify the special needs towards property tax considerations that Floridians have been concerned with.

The response has come from state senator J.D Alexander during the last congressional session as the assumption of Homestead exemptions had been considered for Florida residents.

Thank You

Aaron Shaw

Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns. The Special Session called for property tax reform has ended. After listening to concerned citizens around the state for the past six months, every legislator came back to Tallahassee with the goal of providing tax relief to our citizens. The old saying that there is more than one right answer to a problem is very evident in this issue and we have listen and tried to implement many of the “right” answers to this problem. The bill, amendment, and resolution passed will affect every citizen and I believe that we have started down the right path of providing property tax relief through this legislation. I have provided a short explanation of the legislation that was passed:

The Bill:

Beginning this year, every category of property taxpayer will benefit from the rollback, cut and cap that the local governments will be required to implement.
The legislation requires that all cities and counties reduce property taxes in the upcoming 2007-2008 fiscal year to the 2006-2007 revenue levels, minus 3-9%. The level of cuts (3%, 5%, 7%, or 9%) is determined by a formula that analyzes the local government’s annual tax increase per person over the past 5 years, measured against the statewide average.
The bill protects fiscally constrained municipalities. These municipalities are not subject to a reduction factor.
Additionally, the bill protects fiscally constrained cities and counties. These local governments are placed in the 3% reduction bracket, and are not measured by their taxing performance over the past 5 years.
The bill treats all Independent Special Districts uniformly with a 3% reduction factor.
Dependent districts and MSTU’s that provide emergency medical and fire rescue services are placed in the 3% reduction group.
The Constitutional Amendment:
If the constitutional amendment is approved by the voters, it will increase the homestead exemption. The new homestead exemption will exempt 75 percent of the first $200,000 in just value, with a minimum exemption of $50,000 per homestead. Additionally, homestead property will receive an exemption of 15 percent on just value from $200,001 to $500,000. This $500,000 limit is automatically increased each year by per capita Florida personal income, and may be increased by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature.
Under this legislation low-income seniors are guaranteed a minimum exemption of $100,000. All other homeowners are guaranteed a minimum exemption of $50,000.
Current homeowners will have the choice to retain the Save Our Homes benefit on their current home as long as they like. They will have the option any year to switch to the new increased homestead exemption. (After making the switch, homeowners may not switch back to Save Our Homes.)
The Joint Resolution:
The joint resolution preserves all existing constitutional exemptions based on special circumstances, including those now provided to disabled veterans, low income seniors and agricultural lands.
The joint resolution creates an exemption from ad valorem taxes on tangible personal property (TPP) of at least $25,000, and waives the requirement that an annual return be filed for tangible personal property valued less than $25,000.
The resolution assesses affordable housing based on use.
In addition, the resolution allows working waterfronts to be assessed as provided by general law.
This proposal creates an equitable property tax system. Floridians will be taxed based on the value of their home, rather than how long they have lived there. Homes of equal value can be taxed equally. Taxpayers will no longer experience drastic spikes under this plan, which ties tax increases to personal income growth and new construction.

JD Alexander

Senate District 17

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