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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate Dems release tax plan



Senate Democrats today outlined their property tax plan:

Save Our Homes portability: People who want to move to a smaller, less expensive home would pay the same tax as they currently do. After one year, the new SOH assessment would kick in. Those going to bigger homes would take up to $250,000.
Save Our Homes cap: Assessment increases would be up to 6 percent annually, not 3 percent.
Non-homestead cap: Not to exceed 10 percent.
Local government rollback: Roll back to 2005-2006 level. Future revenue collection could not exceed 3 percent plus consumer price index.
Waterfront property: Assessments based on income. Hotels would not qualify.

Sen. Steve Geller agreed the higher SOH assessment cap amounted to tax increase, but contended the overall plan would result in lower average tax bills. Specifics were not immediately available. And Geller said the increase was necessary to address constitutional issues with portability, saying it must be above 4.7 percent  - "That's the magic number. It has to be higher than the expected long-range housing growth."

The local government rollback, about $1.1-billion, is considerably less than the House Republican plan, which calls for more than $5-billion in savings to taxpayers. Senate Republicans have not yet released their plan and may wait until after next week's break.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:39pm]


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