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Property Tax Divide

April 25th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

House and Senate negotiations in Tallahassee over property tax relief are at a standstill tonight. House republicans remain committed to a sales tax hike to offset the taxes on homesteads, The Governor has not taken sides yet, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, that is about to change.

Hear it here: Property Tax Update

House Republicans want to raise the sales tax by up to 2 ½ cents to offset the taxes on your home. The Senate wants a modest rollback and local governments to tighten their belts. Rep. Jack Seiler says a bitter divide remains among House and Senate negotiators. “We’re almost like planets on two different orbits right now.” Says Seiler.

Meanwhile, Charlie Crist took the rare opportunity to reach out to the 40 plus house democrats. “I know what the people want, and they want us truly to work together. They don’t like us fighting. They don’t like us bickering,” Crist told the minority conference.

For the last two days, the governor has distanced himself a sales tax hike. Quoting the Rolling Stones, Charlie Crist’s message to House republicans was simple. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might get what you need. And what we need is a significant property tax cut for the people.”

The pop lyric is as specific as the governor has been so far besides saying he wants taxes to “drop like a rock”. Until now, the governor has avoided talking about specific changes to the property tax law, but this late in the game, that is going to change.

The governor is finally starting to use the power of the office as the legislative clock ticks down. He is holding town hall meetings and talking directly to voters through satellite media tours of the state.

A draft of the Governor’s plan embrace’s a roll back of property taxes to their 2003 level with a cap on any additional revenue for local governments. He would double the Homestead exemption, give a break to businesses on tangible Personal Property taxes. First time home buyers will get a tax break during the first year, and existing homeowners would be able to take some of their homestead tax savings with them when they move.

See the draft here: proposal-tax-reform-1.pdf

Posted in Charlie Crist, Property Taxes, State News | 2 Comments »

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