Election day 2018Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018, and Boca Raton real estate owners face some decisions. There are 12 proposed amendments on the ballot in Florida, two of which affect homeownership and property taxes. Following is a summary of these proposals:

Amendment 1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

This proposal grants an additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption for properties valued over $125,000. There are also some increases for properties between $100,000 and $125,000. This would apply to all levies other than school districts and would take effect January 1, 2019.

If this amendment, commonly referred to as the “Third Homestead”  is approved by voters, it will be worth an additional $200-300 (approximately) tax savings for those receiving the benefit. Of course, lower-income homeowners, or those with properties assessed below $100,000 will not receive any benefit. If approved, it will also reduce the tax revenue that each taxing authority (e.g. city, county, etc) ultimately collects.

Both the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post editorial boards are recommending a NO vote on Amendment 1, as the lowered revenues to cities and counties will either result in decreased services, or increases in other taxes. In any case, it will shift the burden to renters, lower-income homeowners, and small businesses.

Amendment 2: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments

This proposed amendment to the State Constitution makes permanent what is currently a temporary cap on the increase in property value for non-homesteaded property (e.g. vacation homes, commercial property, apartments). This amendment will make the cap of 10% permanent. It is currently set to expire this year. In other words, no matter how much property values increase, a non-homesteaded property cannot be assessed for property taxes at more than 10% of the previous year. This amendment made it to the ballot with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Both the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post are recommending a YES vote on Amendment 2. It is also heavily endorsed by the Florida Association of Realtors. This will protect non-homesteaded property owners against a sudden spike in property taxes. This would be unfair to snowbirds, small businesses, and renters whose landlords will pass on the increases to them.

If you are a registered voter in Florida, please be sure to study and learn about the various amendments facing us in the November 6 election, and please be sure to vote!

Posted by Gloria Singer on
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