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Florida House Proposes Changes for Property Tax Relief

Published on October 23, 2007 by Sherri Dodsworth under Business, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Real Estate, Taxes

The Tallahassee Tax MachineOne of the contributing factors stagnating our market is the incredible increase in property taxes in the past few years exacerbated by the inequity in taxes between homestead and non-homestead properties. With the vast majority of our properties having absentee owners, this is a major concern here. When people are trying to sell their home (more info over at they don’t want to come up against issues such as this consistently. On Saturday, October 20, Florida’s House of Representatives released its updated property tax reform plan. This may also be a good time for homeowners to check their home warranty to see if everything is in order when they move. They can click here for info about this and see how they can better prepare themselves during this time.

House leaders now hope to build a bipartisan consensus to show the Senate they’re serious about drastically cutting state property taxes. If Democrats and Republicans pass the measure with something close to a majority, the reason, the Senate would have to consider the plan.

In addition to portability – which the governor, Senate and House already advocate – the updated House proposal includes a 5 percent assessment cap on commercial and non-homestead property. The cap applies to properties, not owners, so a change of ownership would not change those taxes under a new owner, giving non-homestead property owners a degree of stability and predictability. This is why if people are considering investing in real estate in Florida then they should be looking for as much information about property tax from websites like and this will make sure that they can afford all the extras that go into buying and running a property.

The House also advocates a new homestead exemption. Instead of doubling the current $25,000 exemption, a proposal I have been vehemently against because it’s a proven disaster, the plan would guarantee a minimum Save Our Homes exemption of 40 percent of a county’s median home price. According to a staffer in Jimmy Patronis’ office whom I spoke with, the current figures being used for Gulf County, subject to change of course, would be 40 percent of $138,000 for non-moving, $397,000 for moving, and $428,000 for first time claimants of the homestead exemption. These cuts would provide a net -24.1% change in taxes. House leaders believe this will provide relief to not only new buyers but also those who have purchased in the past few years.

Issues proposed in the House plan include:

  1. Homestead property owners would pay tax based on their existing Save Our Homes value or current value minus 40 percent of their county’s current median home price, whichever is less.
  2. 5 percent cap on commercial and non-homestead property taxes
  3. Under portability, homeowners may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead anywhere in Florida within two years of leaving their former homestead.
  4. Tangible personal property exemption of $25,000
  5. Limits the authority of local governments to increase property taxes
  6. Provides limitations on the assessed value of properties used for affordable housing
  7. 5 percent assessment growth limitation for all non-homestead properties
  8. More flexibility for the Legislature to limit assessments for working waterfront properties
  9. Election of all county property appraisers

The House went into session late Monday afternoon for further debate, so I will keep you posted as I hear of updates. If you would like to contact our representative, Jimmy Patronis, his contact info is as follows:

Capitol Office:
1102 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahasse, FL 32399-1300

District Office:
Suite A
455 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401-2775

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