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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

This just in: The House's 'refined' plan



Read it here. Financial impact. The news release. And the Democratic response.

Writes Rep. Dean Cannon:

During the past 72 hours, members from both sides of the aisle have focused on making two refinements to the current plan that would address all the concerns raised above without substantially departing from the basic framework of our agreement with the Senate.  We respect the prerogative of the Senate Leadership and appreciate their partnership throughout our work on property taxes this year, and we are optimistic that these refinements to the current plan will make a good plan significantly better. The two refinements we are proposing are as follows:

1. Guaranteed Save Our Homes Benefit – For non-school taxes, instead of doubling the homestead exemption, this approach would guarantee a minimum Save Our Homes exemption of at least 40% of the county’s median home value.  This approach will target relief precisely toward those homesteaded property owners who bought homes in the last few years and new homestead property owners who need it most.

2. Protection of a 5% Save Our Homes-like cap on non-homestead and commercial property - Capping assessment increases on all non-homestead and commercial properties at 5% will help restore fairness, equity and predictability to our property tax system by providing real protections against any outrageous tax increases in the future. It would provide much the same taxpayer protections for renters, affordable housing, second-home owners and small business owners that primary homeowners currently enjoy.

These two refinements do not significantly affect the bottom line of the current tax proposal, which is currently expected to provide roughly $11 billion in total relief over four years.  The refinements we are suggesting maximize those same $11 billion by targeting the bulk of it toward the people who need it most while providing the protections that non-homestead and commercial property owners deserve.

We remain confident and optimistic that both the House and the Senate will see the wisdom of this approach and open this idea to full consideration by both chambers as soon as Monday.  We expect to file bill language later today or tomorrow so that we can begin the amendatory process that we have observed throughout the year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:22am]


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