Florida Property Tax Reform Could Go To a Vote Today

The Florida Legislature could vote as early as today on its property tax reform plan. The Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR) issued a Call-to-Action earlier today, asking Realtors to tell their lawmakers that the proposal does not go far enough.

Key Florida property tax issues cited by FAR include:

Inadequate relief for non-homestead and commercial properties. Commercial property owners have suffered annual tax increases of 20, 30 and up to 50 percent over the past five years, and FAR supports a greater property tax cut than the 9 percent currently proposed.

The “Super Homestead” exemption. Realtors support this proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution, especially in that the exemption increases along with any increase in inflation, and can be increased by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature if the constitutional amendment passes.

Save Our Homes. Realtors support phasing out this amendment in the Florida Constitution. The Legislature needs to address the pent-up and growing demand of residents who either need to move but can’t, or want to move but know it’s not in their best interest to do so.

“Present use” and not “highest and best use.” Commercial property needs to pay a property tax based on its present use. “Highest and best use” standards have led to abuse throughout the state, according to FAR, causing commercial and business property owners to pay unwarranted high taxes. If not included in the current reform package, FAR will continue to address the issue in future legislative sessions.

Jan. 29, 2008, election. Realtors support putting constitutional tax reform for Florida on the Jan. 29, 2008, presidential preference primary ballot.

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