ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 8, 2017 — A new web tool developed by Florida Realtors® shows that nearly 700,000 Floridians will be in for a rude awakening in 2019 if a beneficial property tax cap is allowed to expire.
The tax cap in question provides a 10 percent yearly cap on property tax increases on non-homestead properties such as retail properties owned by small businesses and second homes. It was part of the Save Our Homes portability constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008. The amendment sunsets onJan. 1, 2019.
“This 10 percent cap is an essential safeguard for many business and second homeowners around the state who used to live in fear of excessive property tax assessments,” says Carrie O’Rourke, vice president of public policy for Florida Realtors. “Without it, they never know if they are going to be hit with a tax bill they cannot cover. The 2008 amendment provided much-needed relief. It is time to make it permanent for property owners.”
Prior to the 10 percent cap, if a business owner’s property was appraised at a much higher value than the year before, they could see their tax bill skyrocket. Owners of investment homes also faced property tax hikes, which could result in higher rents.
The new web tool illustrates the potential impact of the cap’s expiration by giving users the ability to quickly see how many Floridians and properties could experience tax increases in each area of the state if the cap were to expire. The data behind the tool was obtained from property appraiser’s offices in each Florida county.
Florida Realtors is leading a coalition of business trade associations in advocating for the successful passage of a bill that will place an amendment on the 2018 General Election ballot, giving voters the chance to permanently renew the 10 percent cap for all non-homestead properties.