As Florida TaxWatch releases their latest report today, the “independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute & government watchdog for more than one-third of a century” organization is encouraging voters to vote “yes” on Amendment 2.
Nearly a decade ago, Florida voters approved a Constitutional amendment that placed a 10% tax cap on annual value increases for non-homestead properties which include commercial/business parcels, residential rentals and vacant, undeveloped lots. Florida citizens will have the opportunity to make it permanent via the general election ballot in November 2018.
Before the non-homestead tax cap was approved by voters in Florida, property values were allowed to increase wildly. For example, in just one year more than 30% of all non-homestead properties in the state increased by 80% or more in value. This means a $300,000 property would be valued and taxed at $540,000 or MORE from one year to the next.
That same year, nearly 75% of all non-homestead properties in the state suffered an increase of more than 10% in value.
“Allowing the cap to expire will result in a property tax hike that will unfairly and severely impact renters and seniors on fixed incomes, businesses, owners of undeveloped land, and part-time residents,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President, and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “Property taxes are Florida’s largest state and local tax source, and the disparity between homestead and non-homestead property taxes is already significant. While Florida has done a great job protecting homesteaded residents from tax increases, similar protections should be left in place for non-homestead properties. Floridians should vote for Amendment 2 this November.”
“We are grateful to have the respected expertise of Florida TaxWatch on this important issue. Making the 10 percent non-homestead tax cap permanent in Florida impacts everybody in the state. It allows business owners to plan for the future by having a better grasp on their budgets, so they can expand and create more jobs. It helps renters continue to afford their housing as they save to one day purchase a home,” said Carrie O’Rourke, Vice President of Public Policy for the Florida REALTORS®. “Prior to the non-homestead tax cap, nearly three out of four non-homestead properties in Florida had taxes increases of more than 10 percent year to year. In 2006, 30 percent of non-homestead properties were hit with an 80 percent hike from just the year before. Florida cannot continue to move forward with these kinds of tax hikes.”
“Hispanic businesses throughout the state of Florida are crucial to the economic success of our state,” said Julio Fuentes, president of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Passing Amendment 2 will help protect small businesses from large tax increases and allow for them to keep prices low, which in turn helps local communities.”
With Florida voters facing 13 amendments this year, the Everybody is for 2 campaign has kicked off to help educate voters about Amendment 2.