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"
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
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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