More than 2 million of Florida’s 5 million commercial properties, rental units, second homes and vacant lots are facing property tax hikes not seen in over a decade if voters do not approve Amendment 2 on Nov. 6.
Amendment 2 preserves the 10 percent cap on annual increases of non-homestead property values that has been in place for the last 10 years. The property number, generated by an analysis of tax rolls in every Florida county, showcases the largescale impact that will occur if that tax cap is allowed to expire. If Amendment 2 fails, all non-homestead properties will be affected.
“Five million properties is a huge number, and if property taxes are allowed to increase unpredictably on even a fraction of those properties, Florida is in trouble,” says Anita Colletti, a Realtor with John R. Wood Properties in Naples, Florida. “And that’s not just an anecdotal statement. We have actual evidence of excessive property tax increases prior to the cap that hurt these property owners and the communities they support.”
Prior to the 10 percent cap, non-homestead property values rose at uncontrollable rates. For example, according to data contained in a Revenue Estimating Conference analysis conducted in 2011, nearly one third of all non-homestead properties were hit with a one-year value increase of 80 percent or more from 2004 to 2005. This means a property valued at $300,000 in 2004 could have been valued and taxed at $540,000 or more in 2005. A similar increase occurred the following year, which means the same property may have theoretically been valued and taxed at $970,000 in 2006. Nearly seventy percent of non-homestead properties saw an increase of over 10 percent during that time span.
“With so many properties and people at stake, we need to make sure Amendment 2 passes so the tax cap can continue to benefit our economy and our communities,” adds Colletti. “It was good policy 10 years ago that has helped our state flourish, and our only mistake at the time was giving it an expiration date. Amendment 2 is our chance to fix the problem for good.”
To protect these 5 million-plus properties and provide their owners and tenants with stable property taxes, Florida Realtors® developed a toolkit filled with various images, social media content, videos and news media templates that Realtors can share with their family, friends, clients, colleagues and social media networks.
Realtors are encouraged to use the toolkit resources through early November to help educate voters in advance of the Nov., 6, 2018, general election.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®