Breaking News from the SunSentinel.com regarding the Florida Property Tax: This didn't take long at all. Instead of waiting until this morning to make a resolution on the Florida House's property tax reform bills, the Senate rejected them all yesterday morning as their first order of business!
I guess the State Senate read my post yesterday about how I felt the House did not understand the "Time is of the Essense" clause of Real Estate!
The Florida State Senate has decided that perhaps the House plan is a little too radical and offsets the property tax with too high a state sales tax.
So the Senate's bill would work like this:
- Roll back taxes to the 2003-2004 level (sound familiar) instead of 2000-2001
- First time homebuyers that have been left in the lurch for so long would get a double Homestead exemption for a total of $50,000
- Businesses (woo hoo!) would get a $25,000 Tangible Property Exemption which definitely helps the small business owner and since 90% of jobs are created by small businesses i.e. middle income business owners, this should offset the burden that was going to plague small businesses
- Portability! Biggest YAY of all. Meaning that people can carry their tax basis with them. If someone is in a $200,000 start home and moves to a $500,000 family home, then they will not have a 250% higher tax basis any longer! This especially helps the struggling middle class! This will also help people that have been in their homes for a long time to move without taking the burden of today's property assessments with them which also benefits the retirees.
Now the House and Senate will be sitting down to try to work out a compromise between their plans. Their goal is to complete their unified plan by May 4th when they are supposed to Adjourn for the summer.
The issues on the table that I believe will be most likely to carry through from this plan will be
- Double Homestead
- Compromised Roll back
- Maybe the business tangible tax exemption
The bills from the House that will likely carry through are
- Sales Tax Hike - but likely compromised
- Assessment practices is definite
- Cap on Local government add-ons
In other news that could benefit a more aggressive plan, in a former post I noted Gov. Crist was signing a pact with the Seminole Nation to secure more slot machines with them in return for tax monies from them... a first for the Seminole Tribe in Florida. Now it appears that the State and Gov Crist are looking to expand gambling in the state, further expanding the taxable revenues from these casinos! This should definitely help with the revenue crisis that these tax bills are sure to create by providing more money to schools.Still what is really interesting is that Republican Governor Charlie Crist has not weighed in officially...