Legislature Passes Historic $32 Billion Property Tax Relief and Reform

By
Real Estate Agent with Reynolds Realty of Manatee Inc

I just received the lastest email update with the following news......

Yesterday the Legislature passed a historic property tax relief and reform package that will cut property taxes for property owners in Florida by almost $32 billion dollars statewide over the next five years.

We have a simple message for Florida's property owners: help is on the way.  The $32 billion dollars in relief will make a real difference in the lives of Floridians - this isn't just a first step forward, it is the first giant leap forward - still, I believe more can be done. There is more waste that can be cut from government, government can provide greater value to the taxpayers, there are more taxpayer protections that must be put in place, and there are greater tax savings that this Legislature can provide to Floridians. 

The centerpiece of the plan is the constitutional amendment that Florida voters will vote on January 29, 2008. House Joint Resolution 3B will provide the greatest savings for Florida's homeowners by creating a "Super Homestead" exemption which will provide an average 44% reduction on most home-owners tax bills. The constitutional amendment eliminates inequities in our current property tax system, provides Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax relief to Florida's businesses and eliminates 77%  - more than $1 million - of Florida's small businesses from the TPP tax rolls, helps businesses by pumping more money into our economy, and helps non-homestead owners by lowering the barriers to homeownership, and lets property owners choose how their homes will be taxed in the future.

The property tax relief and reform package approved yesterday also includes a statutory tax relief bill, House Bill 1B, that will immediately cut taxes and cap future tax increases for all property owners; limit local governments' ability to unnecessarily raise taxes in the future; and provide immediate savings to homeowners, second homeowners, and commercial property owners.

The only limits to our future success as a state are the unfair limits government applies to our people through unnecessary taxation - it will be the charge of the House of Representatives, as long as I preside over it, to destroy those barriers to prosperity.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
Speaker, Florida House of Representatives

The bills approved yesterday:

HJR 3B by Representative Cannon "Property Tax: Constitutional Relief & Reform"

  • Offers $16 billion of tax relief over five years.

The savings by property type in 2008 are:

  • Average Homestead switching from Save Our Homes: 44% ($1,306)
  • Average Non-homestead Residential: 8% ($245)
  • Average Commercial/Industrial: 8% ($1,240)
  • Average Tangible Personal Property savings: 17% ($262)


  • Allows homeowners to choose between Save Our Homes or the new plan.
  • No one will lose their current Save Our Homes protections unless they choose to.
  • Homeowners will be allowed to choose between their current Save Our Homes protections or the new, "Super Homestead" and expanded taxpayer protections under the constitutional amendment.
  • This creates a form of portability for homeowners who would otherwise lose significant tax savings when they move.
  • Rather than starting over with only a $25,000 homestead exemption and zero Save Our Homes protections, the homeowner would immediately have a homestead exemption up to $195,000 as soon as they move in.


  • Creates a new "Super Homestead" exemption to transform the inequitable Florida property tax system.
  • The new exemption covers 75% of the first $200,000 of value and 15% of the next $300,000.
  • Thus, the maximum super exemption is $195,000.
  •  All homesteads will receive at least a $50,000 exemption.
  • Qualifying low-income seniors will receive at least a $100,000 exemption.
  • The upper $500,000 threshold is indexed to grow with changes in Florida personal income, which generally increases 4% per year.


  • Authorizes a new $25,000 Tangible Personal Property (TPP) exemption for businesses.
  • This creates immediate savings of hundreds of dollars for TPP-paying business owners.
  • It also eliminates the administrative burden of filing a tax return for $1 million of Florida's 1.3 million businesses that pay tangible personal.


  • Authorizes targeted relief for affordable housing and working waterfront properties. Implements tax reform and relief for 2008 tax bills, provided the Legislature votes for a special election in January 2008 (HB 5B).

HB 1B by Representative Attkisson "Property Tax: Immediate Statutory Relief"

  • Creates meaningful and immediate tax relief for all properties in Florida this year.
  • Homestead property owners save an average of 7% ($174).
  • Non-homestead residential property owners save an average of 7% ($199).
  • Commercial/industrial property owners save an average of 6% ($941).
  • Tangible personal property taxpayers save an average of 6% ($92).


  • Requires all local governments except school districts to cut taxes this year.
  • First, cities, counties, and independent special districts must reduce taxes for the 2007-2008 Fiscal Year by adopting the 2006-2007 tax levy, adjusted for new construction (i.e., adopt the rolled-back rate).
  • Next, cities and counties must further reduce taxes by a factor based on whether they have recently levied property taxes responsibly or excessively, compared to a statewide average. The reduction factor will be 3%, 5%, 7%, or 9%.
  • All independent special districts are required to implement the 3% reduction factor.
  • Requires all local governments except school districts to cap annual property tax revenue growth.
  • Property tax revenue growth will only be allowed to increase in proportion to population growth (i.e., new construction) and growth of Florida personal income (which averages 4% annually).
  • A revenue cap creates unprecedented protections for all Florida properties - especially commercial properties and non-homestead residential properties, which currently have no specific protection.


  • Protects taxpayers while allowing local flexibility by requiring a rigorous procedure to override the required revenue cap.
  • Depending on the extent to which the local authority wants to exceed the revenue cap, varying supermajority votes are required.
  • A slight increase requires a 2/3 vote, while a larger increase will require either a unanimous vote or approval by local voters.


  • Implements provisions authorized in the constitutional reform plan (HJR 3B).
  • The implemented provisions are:
  • The new "super" homestead exemption.
  • The new homestead exemption for low-income seniors.
  • The grandfathering provisions that allow certain homeowners to maintain Save Our Homes benefits.
  • Homeowners will be allowed to choose between their current Save Our Homes protections or the new, "Super Homestead" and expanded taxpayer protections under the constitutional amendment.
  • The new tax protections for affordable housing.
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Show All Comments
Rainer
128,954
David A. Podgursky
Boynton Beach & Lake Worth Florida Real Estate Broker Associ - Boynton Beach, FL
PA

This is an poorly thought out plan by a senseless bunch of legislators...

I've been tracking this mess in posts...

the problem is that they made these sweeping reforms for a particular target but didn't figure out not doing anything for other property owner types would hurt other parts of the economy.

They failed to address:

  • Snowbirds... part time residents are a vital part of our economy year round
  • Commercial property owners... when property taxes are as high as they currently are, goods and services must become more expensive to allow business owners to afford to stay in business
  • Investors... high taxes have to be passed down to tenants... this means that apartment dwellers won't see any relief in their annual rent hikes... businesses renting office and retail space will again have to keep prices up to afford the tax pass throughs.

 

Jun 15, 2007 09:19 AM #1
Rainmaker
265,979
Jay Beckingham
Premier Nationwide Lending - Port St Lucie, FL
"I love first time homebuyers"

cool beans!

as for those who will question this action as not being perfect or not addressing their individual concerns i must say it does address the concerns of the multitude of year round residents. 

i deal with a great deal of first time homebuyers who will find their payments more affordable. 

Jun 15, 2007 09:49 AM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I side with David on this.  Exactly what kind of relief is $174 per year?  Given that many of those who will get this relief are also county workers like me, who are going to lose their jobs, like me,  because of cut-backs, I'm sure they (me) are all just giddy at the prospect of saving such a ginormous amount on our tax bills.  Would you trade your job for $174?  That translates to $14.50 per month in savings.  Oh, now all the seniors on fixed incomes who can't afford their property tax will now hit the stores and spend, spend, spend that $14.50 per month.  Or maybe they'll apply it to the hundreds of dollars in RX medications they need per month to stay alive.  And first time buyers must be lining up at the real estate agencies, just counting all the huge savings they will now have.  If we can't see this so-called solution is strictly pandering to the voters, then we deserve what we have gotten.

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Jun 15, 2007 10:08 AM #3
Rainer
128,954
David A. Podgursky
Boynton Beach & Lake Worth Florida Real Estate Broker Associ - Boynton Beach, FL
PA

it only addresses the year round residents real estate taxes... not the other costs of living.  It also doesn't help the small businesses that provide jobs to those residents... or the apartment owner who rents property to them while they're saving to buy a house.

 

Jun 15, 2007 11:09 AM #4
Rainer
420,531
Becky Troutt
Reynolds Realty of Manatee Inc - Bradenton, FL

I am still confused at the whole damn thing.  Doesn't look like they are doing squat for the investors.  And I agree with you guys, what the heck is up with the whopping $174 savings???

I don't understand these people!!

Jun 15, 2007 05:39 PM #5
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Me again Becky.  Does anyone out there understand how many county employees statewide are going to lose their jobs because of the whopping $174 tax relief?  Thousdands.  I am one of them.  Personally, I'd like to tell the legislature to take their tax relief and shove it.  I save $174 and lose my job.  Sounds like a fair deal to me, NOT!
Jun 15, 2007 08:56 PM #6
Rainer
420,531
Becky Troutt
Reynolds Realty of Manatee Inc - Bradenton, FL

Ok Terry. I hear ya loud and clear!  I am working with a seller right now that is fearful he will be one to lose his job to due to the tax cut.  He has listed his house for preparation he may be jobless and is looking to move out of state!

It seems to be one step forward, 10 steps back!

Jun 15, 2007 10:24 PM #7
Rainer
128,954
David A. Podgursky
Boynton Beach & Lake Worth Florida Real Estate Broker Associ - Boynton Beach, FL
PA

Terry...

that is EASY

there are too many people working for the county!

  • there are too many people getting paid for 5 hr days...
  • the counties and cities were living high on the hog for a few years and spending money where they didn't need to
  • this will force governments to be leaner and spend less money on useless things like a $250,000 robotic toilet...

Now these people will just have to brush up on their resumes to get a job in the private sector... less security but if they are actually willing to work they can make more

Jun 16, 2007 05:51 PM #8
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Oh David, you are such a kind hearted person!  Where do you get your information about county employees?  Ever worked for the county?  What makes you think we only work 5 hour days?  Who do you think maintains the parks to your specifications?  Who do you think picks up the trash you throw out the window of your car?  Who do you think maintains the roads you drive on?  Who do you think processes the stuff you flush down your toilet?  Who do you think keeps the mosquitoes at bay?  Who do you think maintains the county waterways?  I could go on till tomorrow and you still wouldnt get it.  You want it all but you don't want to pay for it, nor do you want anyone who wants to work to have a paying county job, right?

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Jun 16, 2007 05:59 PM #9
Rainmaker
449,114
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Becky - great post and congrats on getting it featured on localism - like David I wish they'd actually address the investor, small business owner, highest and best use, etc. We're seeing investors chosing to leave as well.
Jun 17, 2007 10:48 AM #10
Rainer
420,531
Becky Troutt
Reynolds Realty of Manatee Inc - Bradenton, FL
Thanks Cyndee.  I hope they do something about it, otherwise they will be running a whole lot of folks out of Florida.
Jun 17, 2007 05:36 PM #11
Rainmaker
123,402
Tchaka Owen
Keller Williams Realty - Hollywood, FL

If I'm going to save 7% on my taxes this year, I'm not impressed.  I'd rather the govt keep that money and pour it into education because it won't affect my lifestyle. I was expecting something along the lines of 30-40%.  I don't want too much cut (yes, I'm a proponent of taxes) but if it's going to be a token (like the $300 I got back around 2001 when Dubya was voted in) then I'd rather it went somewhere else.

- Tchaka 

 

Jun 17, 2007 10:34 PM #12
Rainer
420,531
Becky Troutt
Reynolds Realty of Manatee Inc - Bradenton, FL
I have to agree with Terry, that the only reason they did what they did was to win re-election.  This way they can at least say, we did something.  Yeah right!!
Jun 18, 2007 06:01 AM #13
Show All Comments
Rainer
420,531

Becky Troutt

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