property taxes – the 1% solution

The proposals being bandied about in Tallahassee are again poor long-term solutions and perpetuate the current problems – uncontrolled spending and wide disparity from property to property.

Until Michael Mayo’s column (Sun Sentinel 10/14/07) no one ever published the details of this previously suggested solution- everyone pays 1% at full assessment.

Now that there are some numbers to work with, here’s my revised suggestion:

– All full-time residents pay 1% full assessment.
– The maximum annual increase cannot exceed the federal cost of living index, or alternatively the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, or 3%, whichever is greater.
– All businesses pay 1.5% full assessment. Maybe 2%?
– Property assessments are revised to reflect the value of the property based on current usage, not the ‘potential usage if property converted to other use’. This is a local decision that needs to be addressed. For example, if you own a boat yard, you are assessed at the value of what the property could be worth if condos were developed. How dumb is that?
o Low-income seniors can continue with the current program
o Schools- pay .5%
o Low-income veterans with permanent disability pay no property taxes (entire household must qualify as low income)

I think the above will come pretty close to getting us to the current tax collections. Let’s get Christ to make a deal with the Seminoles and remove some of the existing sales tax exemptions to make up the difference. BTW at 1%, I’ll pay a lot more personally, and it will hurt, but it will also open the door to moving to another location if desired because.

1. Take your assessed property value with you when you move, so you keep the same tax base. This is a short term fix to a long term problem and perpetuates all that is currently wrong. With the 1% solution, portability is no longer a problem.
2. Double the homestead exemption. This does nothing to fix the disparity that already exists among current homeowners and doesn’t help snowbirds and businesses.
3. Increase sales tax- highly publicized as unfair to the poor, but maybe needs to come back.
4. Increase sin tax- cigarettes and alcohol- why not?
5. State income tax- This is probably the most fair, yet will draw big lobbying against. However, I’d rather be taxed on my income than my property and I think the working class would agree. For example, just because I bought a waterfront home that accelerates in value faster than other areas, does not mean that my income rises as fast. If I had my preference, I’d go to .5% property tax and some level of income tax.

Whip’s policy brief- from State Rep Bogdanoff

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