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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nonhomestead property tax cap equals big savings



A proposal to lower the nonhomestead property tax assessment cap to 5 percent from 10 percent would strip $100 million from local government coffers in 2011, according to estimates state economists released Sunday.

By 2013, the savings (or hit, depending on one's viewpoint) would be $266 million.

A second plan calling for a sizable homestead exemption for new homebuyers would save $120 million in 2011, assuming voters approve the measure. By 2015, the savings would be $358 million. Under the plan, first-time homebuyers would get an exemption worth 50 percent of the market value of the home, with the benefit gradually reduced over the next four years.

The plans are being championed by Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican lawmakers still eager to cut taxes. But local government and school forces are mobilizing to keep those and other ideas off the 2010 ballot, saying previous property tax cuts have left little wiggle room.

The revenue estimators, who met Saturday and released a report Sunday, also determined that a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase would generate $871 million next year.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:32pm]


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