Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senator proposes plan to stop property tax hike on non-homesteaded land

State Sen. Tom Lee

Scott Keeler/Times

State Sen. Tom Lee



The Florida Legislature is taking the first steps toward preventing an historic property tax increase that would affect commercial properties, second homes and rental properties.

State Sen. Tom Lee has proposed a constitutional amendment that if it clears the Legislature in the spring and is passed by voters by 2018 would stop the expiration of a cap on property tax increases on non-homesteaded properties. That cap, first adopted by voters in 2008 at the urging of then Gov. Charlie Crist, prevents appraisers from increasing the tax assessment on non-homesteaded properties by more than 10 percent a year. But when it was passed by voters in 2008, it had an expiration date of Jan. 1, 2019.

If that expiration date isn’t changed, Lee, R-Thonotosassa, said the state is in for “one of the largest tax increases in the history of our state.” He said appraisers would be in a position to hike assessments to catch up with where they would have been without the 10 years of relief. Lee said that could be dramatic increases on rental properties, which would likely be passed on through even higher rents.

The proposal does not affect Save Our Homes, which caps annual assessments on homesteaded properties at 3 percent.

Lee's proposal will go before the Florida Legislature, which next meets for its annual session in March 2017.

"This amendment has done its job in keeping annual tax increases modest for Floridians," Lee said.



[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 1:21pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours