Beware the poison pill

                                                           

By Henry B. Nathan                                                                             June 16, 2007                                                                                                                                     

                                                   
                                                            


                                   
Questioning the new Florida tax property laws.

Letting my thoughts settle down after the initial confusion, I come out with some disturbing facts.

1) Isn't this whole thing a first step to killing the "save-our-homes" amendment?

The fact is (if the January 2008 proposals are voted) that a homeowner will be dropping his "save our homes" rights if he takes advantage of the new "super-sized" homestead exemption.

Historically "save our homes" is the only amendment that protected the homeowner against local governments abuses in a consistent way. Are you going to believe that, from now on, cities and counties will start to behave and give you, the citizen, their upmost considerations ahead of their deep rooted bureaucracies, and free wheel spending?

2) In fact, after a few years of savings, the inevitable will occur. The initial savings will be wiped out by inexorable real estate valuation. Had you opted to accept the super-sized homestead exemption, you will pay for it later, take my word for it.

2) Wouldn't it have been fair to allow a homeowner to accept the new homestead super-sized protection and keep his "save our homes" privileges which allows the governments to raise their tax bill only 3% per year? Why eliminate this protection for the beleaguered first-time home-buyer struggling to afford a home?

3) That leads me to believe that the poison pill given to us has a hidden purpose:
slowly kill the "save-our-homes" provisions as present beneficiaries die, sell, or move out of their homes.

4) What about constitutionally prohibiting any property assessment to raise above the national inflation average? Isn't the inflation index a perfect gauge of keeping taxes and spending within a reasonable level?

5) As a matter of fact, I first thought that the new provisions were pathetic. Now I am starting to believe that they are mischievous.

 

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