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Florida Amendment 4 - Property Tax Breaks

Main Sponsors: Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) and Rep. Chris Dorworth (R-Lake Mary)

Title: Property Tax Limitations

What It Does: Current law caps annual assessment increases on non-homesteaded property at 10% a year. Amendment 4 reduces the assessment cap to 5% and delays expiration of that cap to 2023; gives first-time home buyers (those who have not purchased a home in Florida in the past three years) an additional homestead exemption up to $150,000 phased out over five years; and allows the Legislature to repeal Florida’s “recapture” rule, which causes some taxable values on homesteaded property to rise even when market values have dropped.

Background: Dorworth, a real estate investor and developer, says Amendment 4 will make property taxes more manageable and stable. The proposal would reduce some of the inequities created by the 1992 Save Our Homes constitutional amendment but could reduce revenue to local governments and force them to raise millage rates.

Proponents: Taxpayers First, a political action committee backed by the Florida Association of Realtors; Florida Chamber of Commerce; Associated Industries of Florida

Opponents: Local governments, Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida

Budget Impact: Assuming millage rates remain the same, local governments stand to lose about $273 million in 2013, with revenue shrinking by $600 million by 2016.

» See all of Florida's 2012 Amendments here.