Florida Property Tax Reform and Elimination

As you may already know, the State of Florida is currently considering a measure to eliminate the Florida Property tax during a special session (June 12-22, 2007), so action today is important. Property values in Florida have increased significantly over the past 5 years – 11 percent, 12.2 percent, 18.2 percent, 19 percent and 25 percent. The combined impact from all taxing jurisdictions is that property tax revenues have doubled, significantly outpacing inflation. Over the last decade state population has grown by 25 percent, personal income has grown by 86 percent, but property taxes have increased by 148 percent. The politicians whining about not having enough revenue want power over you, nothing more and will use fear and any technique than can in order to keep it. Their special interest friends want their handouts that the politicians take from you.

Abolishing the property tax would be a boon for the State of Florida for many reasons:
* Increased property values: people can afford more for their money without worrying about property taxes each year.
* Increased growth: lower taxes increase growth; meaning more jobs and better wages.
* Easier Home sales: people will be able to afford a more expensive house and be more mobile because they won?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t fear a huge tax increase that a move currently would cause.
* Eliminate the need for anyone to sell because taxes are to high for them to afford.
* Increase Equality: everyone will be treated equally under the law instead of basing your taxes on when you purchased your home. (For example: Consider two identical houses with identical market values, one could be assessed $500 per year in property taxes while another could pay $5000. The difference is due to one being purchased in 2005, the other in 1995. Is that fair? Eliminate the issue by eliminating the tax).
* Non-residents currently pay higher rates than residents. For residents (like me), that seems good, but is it really? Probably not, elimination would help increase the number of non-residents who can buy houses, increasing property values.
* Lower Rents: Renters will benefit due to lower rents since landlords will owe less in taxes.

Entrenched special interests are trying to scare people into opposing this needed reform. An email I received recently complained about possible cuts in subsidies to the local symphony. My response is: let the people who use a service pay for it. If you have several thousand dollars more per year through property tax savings, you’ll easily be able to pay $8 more to hear – and support – the Symphony. Why should a poor single mother (or anyone else) who needs to rent, subsidize my symphony attendance? Why should someone who doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t like the Symphony be asked to pay for it? The answer is that they should not be forced to do so. We don’t ask that movie theaters be subsidized, why should other – even ‘high brow’ – entertainment be subsidized? Do you expect your neighbor to chip in to buy your food? Do they have to support the musicians you enjoy listening to? Of course you don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t, then why should you be forced to support something much less important than food?

Let’s be perfectly clear: only people pay taxes. Taxes on business are passed on to the consumer. Taxes on real estate are paid by the owner or passed on to the renter. Taxes on wages that are remitted by business are really paid by the employee in the form of a lower salary than you might have earned. Politicians love to hide taxes in this way so that you don’t realize the taxes you are paying. They can then be magnanimous by giving your money back to you. As long as the government can, it will drain the days and weeks of your life without your consent to support its power-hungry politicians.

The two techniques that are in use here are, first, that special interests are trying to scare you about cuts to local budgets and second, politicians are trying to hide their spending. When property taxes have doubled in 5 years and yet some politicians still complain about there not being enough revenue, you know who has your interests at heart and who is only after power.

If you are interested in higher wages, higher growth, and a fairer system, eliminating the property tax is a great start. Opportunities like this do not come around very often, so action now is important.

What can you do? Email, call or write the people below, plus your local State Representative and State Senator, letting them know you’d support eliminating the property tax. It might not seem important, but it is. And timing is important since the special session begins June 12, 2007 and ends June 22, 2007.

Christian Riley
Include your NAME and ADDRESS and just state you’d like the property tax eliminated in the subject and body.

Who to contact:
Charlie Crist
420 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301 (850)487-0801

Ken Pruitt, Pres of the Senate
(772)344-1140 (Local)

Marco Rubio, Speaker of the House
(350) 442-6911 (local)
(850) 488-4092

Find your local Representative here.

Find your local State Senator here.

Some references:
Sun-Sentinal “The House plan would be a major boon” (April 20, 2007)