General

Florida Property Tax Cap Ballot Questions

Florida has two questions regarding property taxes on the November 2018 ballot.  Each would have an effect on all Florida property owners, as they will affect the total assessment roll’s taxable value.  Should the taxable roll decrease, millage rates would adjust upward.  Should the taxable roll increase, millage rates would adjust downward.

 

Amendment 1 proposes an additional homestead exemption of $25,000, which would be applied against a qualifying homestead property’s $100,000 to $125,000 portion of its assessment.  Therefore, there is only a benefit to homesteads with values above $100,000.  Should this amendment pass, the taxable assessment roll would decrease.  Assuming stable budgets, millage rates would adjust upward.

 

Amendment 2 applies to non-homestead properties and is of particular interest to commercial property owners.  The 10% property tax cap that was passed in 2008 is set to expire January 1st, 2019.  This amendment seeks to make the cap permanent.  Should the amendment fail to pass, owners of properties with non-school taxable values substantially below their full market values would receive sizable increases in their taxes based on their non-school taxable value resetting to full market value.  A failure of this amendment to pass would cause the taxable assessment roll to increase.  Assuming stable budgets, millage rates would adjust downward.

 

The combination of these two amendments on the ballot create additional difficulties for property tax budgeting.  Status quo would be if amendment 1 failed and amendment 2 passed.  Before millage rate adjustments, rough estimates show a potential $752.7 million tax dollars would be lost if amendment 1 passes and $700 million tax dollars would be gained if amendment 2 does not pass.  Should both amendment 1 pass and amendment 2 fail, commercial and non-homestead properties would pay a much larger share of the overall tax burden.