TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A top legislative priority of Florida Realtors passed on Wednesday. It gives voters the chance to make permanent a 10 percent cap in non-homestead property tax increases during the 2018 general election.
The passage of SJR 76/HJR 21 successfully ends a nearly year-long effort by Florida Realtors to get the proposed amendment on the 2018 ballot as early as possible so voters have time to learn about the many benefits the non-homestead tax cap provides.
“This is a huge win for Realtors throughout the state and we should all be very proud, but the hard work lies ahead,” says Maria Wells, 2017 president of Florida Realtors. “We will turn our energy and advocacy efforts on this issue away from legislators and toward voters. They will have the ultimate say on whether this beneficial tax cap stays or goes.”
The 10 percent cap on non-homestead properties was part of the Save Our Homes portability constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008. The 10 percent cap portion of the amendment sunsets on Jan. 1, 2019.
Prior to the 10 percent cap, if the value of a business owner’s property increased significantly compared to the previous year, they could see their property tax bill skyrocket. Owners of investment homes also faced steep property tax hikes, which could be passed along to tenants in the form of higher rents.
“Voters approved the 10 percent cap in 2008 for a reason,” says Wells. “They recognized that property taxes on businesses and second homes were spiraling out of control and they took action to help their fellow Floridians. It’s time to give them the opportunity to help again by making the tax cap permanent.”
Florida Realtors is working on a comprehensive direct-to-voter campaign to educate Floridians about the benefits of the tax cap and remind them why they originally approved it 10 years ago. The first part of that campaign includes an advocacy website: www.protectthecap.com. The site features an interactive tool that shows the negative impact on non-homestead property owners if the cap is allowed to expire.
“From our lobbying actions to our educational activities, this has truly been a comprehensive advocacy effort by Florida Realtors,” says Wells. “We must now reach out to voters and enlist their support in protecting the businesses and homeowners who are integral to Florida’s success.”
© 2017 Florida Realtors®