Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Florida Real Estate Taxes: Help on the way?

Boomers who are thinking of moving to Florida but have hesitated because of the rising price of property and subsequently the higher real estate taxes, may get some much needed relief soon. Governor Charlie Christ recently announced several proposals for Florida property tax reform. Among them:

• Doubling the Homestead Exemption from $25,000 to $50,000.
• Make the Save Our Homes cap portable statewide, meaning that Florida homeowners can take their current tax rate with them when they move.
• Place a cap on property taxes for businesses and landlords of the lesser of three percent or the rate of inflation. This is similar to how the Save Our Homes legislation currently protects homeowners.
• Exempting small businesses from tangible personal property taxes.

Most impacted by these proposals are local governments who would have to trim the fat and possibly a whole lot more from their budgets because of a lower property tax increase each year. Their budget will still grow, just not any faster than three percent per year. For some local governments this may not be enough to keep up with rapid growth.
We will all have to stay tuned to see whether Florida voters approve these proposals in a special election in 2007. Then, it will probably take a couple of years before we are able to determine how exactly these measures are impacting Florida property owners and local governments.

You can keep your eye on major developments of this issue by visiting the “Florida Resources” page at

Read more: Crist calls for sweeping property tax changes