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Attention Turns to Property Tax Bills

January 24th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Just two days after passing a massive insurance package in hopes of saving you money, state policy makers are turning to the problem of skyrocketing property taxes.

Hear it here: Property Tax Reform

Hundreds paid their way to the Capitol last week to protest high insurance rates…but they also had plenty to say about their property tax bills as well. One of them was Jesus Ceballos. Insurance premiums and taxes theyre causing housing prices to come down he says.

The top leadership at the House is calling for a special election this summer to change the homestead exemption and give homeowners more savings. Speaker Marco Rubio says People need the relief right now as badly as they needed property insurance relief, they need property tax relief.

In the last five years, property local governments have collected 83 percent more while the population has only increased 12 percent. One plan will tell local governments that just because property tax values are up, you still cant spend all the money.

Two committees met to talk about solutions, the Senate has a place on its website to submit comments on property taxes, and it has scheduled 8 public hearings in the next month. Senator Mike Haridopolos will chair the hearings and says One thing we have found in our studies which is very clear we do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

Charlie Crist campaigned on doubling the 25 thousand dollar homestead exemption. He also wants to let homeowners to take it with them when they move. Today he told reporters I heard, you know, all last year that people feel trapped in their homes. They dont feel like they have the freedom to move.

Crist says local governments will have to spend less and do it more wisely. Before there can be a special election this summer, 3/4ths of the legislature will have to agree.

The schedule of public meetings is:

Thursday, January 25, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Panama City
Gulf Coast Community College
Language Arts Lecture Hall

Thursday, February 8, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Jacksonville
Florida Community College

Monday, February 12, 2007
9:00 a.m.12:00 noon
West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Community College
Dunkin Theatre: Lake Worth Campus

and

6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Ft. Lauderdale
Broward Community College

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Miami Dade
Miami Dade Community College
Chapman Center

Thursday, February 15, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Tampa
Hillsborough Community College

Friday, February 16, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Ft. Myers
Florida Gulf Coast University

Thursday, February 22, 2007
6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.
Orlando
Valencia Community College

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