Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Passes Tax Reform Amendment

As of 11:40 p.m. the precincts are still reporting, but it looks like Amendment 1 (Florida's Property Tax Reform Amendment) has passed by a pretty wide margin. So, let's recap again what this Amendment means:

  • "Doubles" the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. However, the 2nd $25k does not apply to school taxes (~30% of most property tax bills), so it's more like an additonal $15,000 exemption. (Assuming a 2% tax rate thats about $300).
  • Portability of Save Our Homes. SOH is Florida's cap on how much your property taxes can go up in a year. Previous to this amendment passing, once you sold your home and moved, you lost your built up savings and had to start again in your new home. Now, take a good portion of it with you.
  • Snowbird only living in Florida part time (non-homesteaded)? Your property tax increases will now be capped at 10% per year. Big whup now you say... but if there's ever a time like 2003-2006 when property taxes nearly doubled for some folks, you'll be happy with this change.
Time will tell if this is *the* spark that the Florida real estate market needs. Those on the fence don't have too many excuses left to wait now.