Letters from Readers

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 Letters From Readers

I urge those who are reading this newsletter to send an email expressing their opinions on subjects. When a reader sends one, it will be included if I find it relevant and I have adequate space. I may edit the letter because of length and clarity. You don’t have to agree with me to have your letter in Friends & Neighbors. All you must do is send it to TOM CAMPENNI or fill out the form on the website.

From Alan Morris

Hi Tom, Just a quick inquiry:  Any word on the downtown Rio project?  Grand plans were laid out long ago and rumored to begin, yet beyond the demolition of a boat basin, we haven't seen a shovel really hit the ground.  Great job with this forum. I always look forward to  its arrival. My best to you and Polly, Alan

Answer: All It takes is money. 

 

Brandon Tucker/Executive Director, Florida Landowners Association

 

MANY BIG QUESTIONS EXIST BEFORE ENDING PROPERTY TAXES IN FLORIDA

Every state across the nation collects property taxes, in most cases to fund local governments, water, and school districts. Florida is no different.

However, Florida lawmakers are now looking at possibly eliminating property taxes altogether. HB 1371 sponsored by Rep. Ryan Chamberlin, R-Marion, calls for a study to investigate the issue. The Senate is considering a comparable bill.

According to the Florida constitution, only local governments can charge ad valorem or property taxes based on the value of the property as of Jan. 1 each year. So, homeowners never really own their property outright if they must pay an annual tax on it.

Florida property taxes generated $25 billion for local governments and schools last year alone. The burning question is how to replace those funds. A consumption tax or increased sales tax would be a logical consideration.

The idea of eliminating property taxes altogether is definitely an innovative one but many important questions first need to be answered:

The sales tax idea is a good one but how much is needed, how will it be distributed to local governments and who will decide how it will be allocated? How do you replace any losses in funding to line-item ad valorem like local school districts, water management districts, etc. How would eliminating property tax be equitably offset county by county, city by city? How would non-homestead and commercial property tax rates be affected locally? Will more burden be passed on to local small business owners?

If HB1371 passes, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability would conduct the study, to be completed by February 2025.

As a property owner and real estate broker, I appreciate that our lawmakers are considering new ways to improve the lives of Floridians and make our state run more efficiently. 

The affordable housing and homeowners’ insurance crises would benefit from the same approach.

 

Mona Leonard

Thanks Tom,

What a comprehensive newsletter. It has grown so much. 

Thanks for all you do,

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