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Legal Questions to Tax Plan Being Raised

October 31st, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Legal questions are being raised tonight over the new property tax plan
sent to the ballot by lawmakers this week. Mike Vasilinda tells us the
plan was adopted even though the legislature’s own staff warned parts of
the plan could by unconstitutional.

Hear it here: Legal Questions to Tax Plan Raised

The moment state lawmakers approved a new property tax amendment for the ballot,

If you are in favor of the motion signify by saying yea shouted the House Speaker from the dias, they opened the door for legal challenges to Floridas save our homes exemption.

In a legal analysis, the legislatures own staff raised constitutional questions over portability Thats the concept of allowing longtime homeowners to move their tax saving to a new home.

If approved by voters, two homeowners who buy identical houses on the same day could be paying vastly different real estate taxes.

Harvey Bennett of Florida Taxwatch says that isnt right, doesnt fix current inequities, and opens the door to challenge. It could be construed as having two separate, distinct unequal tax systems.

The governors office believes the naysayers are out of touch. George Lemieux is the Governors Chief of Staff It does not treat out-of-state folks any different than it treats in-state folks. What it does is prefers homesteaders, whether theyre in-state or out-of-state. So we believe its constitutional. says Lemieux

But Floridas Teachers union says not so fast. Challenging the new exemption might be just one of the ways to oppose it. Thats always a possibility says FEA President Andy Ford. We have had preliminary conversations with a variety of people and our options are still open at this point.

The stakes are high. In a worst case scenario, homeowners could end up paying back any money theyve saved from the Save our Homes Exemption, if its ever declared unconstitutional.

Florida Democrats are split on the Tax proposal. Rep. Dan Gelber, the House minority leaders says: “It is ironic that a day after the legislature voted to fund tax relief with a near $3 billion cut to public education, a report comes to light announcing that only South Carolina has a higher high school dropout rate than Florida. Gelber was a no vote on the plan.

Posted in Amendments, Charlie Crist, Children, Education, Legislature, Politics, Property Taxes, State Budget | 1 Comment »

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