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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Substantial agreement' on taxes announced

Senate President Ken Pruitt and House Speaker Marco Rubio just sent out a letter touting "substantial agreement" in the property tax talks. Read it here.

The leaders call for immediate local government cuts tied to the amount of tax increases in each city and county over the last five years, along with a cap on future tax revenue based on personal income growth. Governments could override the cap and cuts by a supermajority vote or referendum.

Left unsaid it how deep the cuts will be. "There will be four tiers of percentages for the additional reductions and we will finalize those numbers next week," the letter reads. It might work something like this: a flat cut for everyone then additional amounts for those that increased taxes above certain thresholds. That way, counties whose tax collections grew the most, cut the most.

Save Our Homes and the current homestead exemption would be replaced by a super-homestead exemption based on a tiered percentage approach. It would not be tied to the median home value in a county. People liked the plan but it created inequities from county to county. No percentages were provided. People who get a better deal under SOH will keep that benefit. (reactions from Sen. Webster and Rep. Gelber in comments.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:26pm]


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