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4 Reasons You Should Vote Yes On Amendment 4

October 8, 2012

Published October 1, 2012 | By dflynn

#1 – It protects YOU from rising property taxes

Did you know that under Florida property tax law, your property tax bill can go up, even if the value of your home goes down? It’s true. Every year your home’s taxable value is re-assessed. That value can increase by as much as 3% every year, and that affects how much you pay in property taxes, even if your millage rate doesn’t change.

But what if the real value of your home stays the same, or even goes down? Shouldn’t your assessed value go in the same direction? Not as the law is written. Even if your home’s value goes down, your assessed value can still increase by up to three percent. That’s right – your millage rate can stay the same or even go down – and your property tax bill will still go up.

It’s called recapture, and it’s an unfair tax trap that Amendment 4 will allow the legislature to do away with if supported by the people of Florida. It’s just the right thing to do, and it’s one way we can help many Floridians keep more of their precious assets.

#2 – It helps small businesses and renters

Do you own a small business? Do you have a second property that you rent out to a family or local business? Are you a renter? Then you know all about the taxes you pay without a homestead exemption. (Yes renters, you pay it too – your landlords pass it on in your rent.) Under current laws, your assessed property value can go up by as much as 10% each year!

Amendment 4 helps non-homestead property owners by lowering that cap to 5% rather than 10%. The result will be lower property taxes over time, and a more predictable property tax environment for businesses.

That’s great for Floridians who are already getting their assets taxed off, and it can help attract more investment in vacant properties that were sold off during the recession. That will help boost property values and attract more jobs and prosperity to our state at a time when we need more of both.

#3 – It will encourage first-time home-buyers

Maybe you’re looking to buy your first home on your own or with your spouse. Or maybe you and your family had to sell your old home and rent for a while because your mortgage and property taxes got too costly in the recession. Or maybe you lost your job and needed to downsize.

After a few very tough years here, Florida’s housing market is a much friendlier place for first-time home-buyers. But SPRS is the threatening condition that could keep all of that from happening. After all, nobody who has dealt with a recession like the one Florida has faced would want to buy a new home, only to get their assets taxed off – again.

So Amendment 4 takes a key step to address SPRS here as well. Under Amendment 4, any Floridian who has never had a homestead exemption, or who has not claimed an exemption in the last three years can receive an additional homestead exemption of half your home’s value up to $150,000 or half the median home price in the county you live. And that property tax exemption can stay in place for up to five years. This will mean serious tax relief for any Floridians looking to get on their without having to worry about getting their assets taxed off.

#4 – It will create jobs and stimulate the economy

According to a Taxwatch study, Amendment 4 will create nearly 20,000 new jobs, over 315,000 home sales more than would have otherwise occurred AND add nearly $5.3 billion dollars to the personal income of Florida residents. What more do you need to know?

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