Florida Real Estate Tax Reform - Round Two
Posted by Benjamin Dona on Thursday, July 24th, 2008 at 3:54pm.
For those of you not yet aware, Amendment 5 will be appearing on the November 4th ballot here in Florida. The amendment will allow voters to decide whether or not they will decrease their real estate taxes (by as much as 25%) by replacing "state required school property taxes with other state revenues."
Once again, Lee County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson (Father of Save Our Homes), helped the committee that developed the new amendment and they believe its passage will "remove the unfunded mandate of required local effort from the backs of Florida taxpayers."
The bottom line for the committee's backing of the new amendment is that the Florida Constitution requires the state to provide funding for education and there are other ways besides "unfunded mandates in the form of required local effort" to accomplish that task. Options for the Legislature include repealing state sales tax exemptions, increasing the sales tax rate by 1%, and spending reductions. According to Wilkinson, "passing Amendment 5 will eliminate 25% from Florida property owners' tax bills by 2010."
The Amendment will require 60% of voters approval in order to be adopted and as expected, battle lines are already being drawn. In fact, a coalition of school associations and business has already filed a lawsuit trying to get the amendment removed form the ballot. However, proponents of the amendment believe it will withstand all such challenges.
It appears that by approving Amendment 5, Florida voters can take the next big step towards substantial tax reform and property tax relief. We concur with this assessment and encourage everyone to become involved in the effort to help reverse the trend of ever rising property tax increases within our state.
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