New Florida TaxWatch research shows Amendment 1 will likely increase, not lower, taxes for all Floridians
TALLAHASSEE – A new report released today by Florida TaxWatch calls for a “no” vote on Amendment 1. The report shows the measure will likely increase taxes for most Floridians, including those with homes valued $100,000 or less, if approved by voters in November.
If passed, the amendment would create an additional homestead exemption that would apply to the portion of a home’s value between $100,000 to $125,000. This exemption would not affect school taxes; however, 43 percent of homesteads, 76 percent of all properties, and 71 percent of Florida families will not benefit from the exemption.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a proposed tax shift masquerading as a tax cut,” said Florida TaxWatch President & CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “Florida has an inequitable property tax system, and this exemption will make the system even more unbalanced. Voters should vote “no” on Amendment 1 to avoid increasing taxes and fees on ALL Floridians.”
According to the report, the exemption would be worth an estimated $644.7 million statewide at current millage rates. Local governments will have to make up for this loss in revenue by increasing taxes and/or reducing services, thus affecting all Floridians. The millage increase needed to recoup the entire loss rises as high as seven percent in individual counties. Beginning in the second year, 76 percent of all property owners can expect a tax increase.
“Think of the property tax system as a balloon,” said Florida TaxWatch Vice President of Research Kurt Wenner. “If you squeeze one part, the other parts get bigger. Amendment 1 will shift the disproportionate burden even further from homestead properties to non-homestead properties. Most Floridians, including nearly half of homestead owners and all businesses and renters will likely see increased taxes, fees or rents as a result of Amendment 1.”
About Florida TaxWatch
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog & taxpayer research institute for nearly forty years, the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch, works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses.
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