Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Florida's New Property Tax Laws Explained

Well, if you follow Florida real estate at all, you've probably long since heard that Florida passed some new property tax laws a few weeks ago. What you may NOT know, however, is what to make of it. For what it's worth, here's my take on it.

1) To begin, what was done probably wasn't enough to cause any real change in Florida's lousy real estate market. Homesteader's in Florida were helped out a little. By that I mean a 3-9% reduction on their next tax bill. So at the most, if your tax bill is $5000 you MIGHT save $450. At the most. That's a night in a fancy hotel, dinner, and drinks...maybe even top shelf drinks. In my book not enough to get me too excited.

2) If you live outside of Florida but own property here (non-homesteaded) you didn't get much help either. By most accounts I've seen, you won't save anything. But, your taxes might not go up like they have been because...

3) Millage rates will be rolled back to 2006-2007 levels. (Basically 1-year). Most Florida taxpayers were hoping for much more, legislators are telling us, hey, at least its something, and city leaders (who have to roll back their spending) are saying its too much...Go figure!

4) Up next for Florida voters will be a chance in January to increase the homestead exemption (currently $25,000 in most cases) to what is called a super-exemption or, 75% of the first $200k in value (Minimum of $50k exemption)

As always, we'll keep you posted as things progress. But for now, put away any immediate hopes of huge property tax reform in the sunshine state.