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House and Senate in High Stakes Poker

October 22nd, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Whether you’ll have an amendment that will cut property taxes on the January 29th ballot is up in the air.  The state House has a new plan that was hatched over the weekend, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the Senate may not even go back to the Capitol for a vote.

Hear it Here: House and Senate in High Stakes Property Tax Poker

Under the latest plan, your homestead exemption would be based on the median value of all the homes in your county, rather than a flat 50 thousand dollars as proposed by the governor.Second homes, rental property and businesses could not go up in value more than 5 percent in any year.

House Democrats like parts of the plan but not others, including a provision giving the state the power to set local tax rates.

“I would say that ‘uncertainty’ is definitely the best way to describe the current tax reform and relief scenario,” House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber said. “I’m not quite what’s going to happen in the next hour, much less next week.”

The plan puts the House and Senate at each others throat. Senators says House Leaders reneged on a deal to double the homestead.

The senate isn’t even planning on coming back until Thursday, if then.

The Senate may not come back at all, forcing the house into a take it or leave it position on the supposed deal the Senate has already passed.

House Majority Leader Adam Hasner says that’s not likely.

“The people of the state of Florida care about getting property tax relief and that’s the most important thing,” Hasner said. “We believe the House plan, with a couple of refinements, actually delivers on that promise, has the same amount of relief that the Senate plan does and it actually does it in a more efficient way.”

The clock is ticking. Lawmakers must have a plan by next Tuesday if they want an amendment on the January 29th ballot.

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