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Property Tax Down, Fees Up

January 31st, 2008 by flanews

Amendment one promises property owners a tax break, but county and city leaders say the referendum is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Whitney Ray tells us how the 9 billion dollars in tax relief could force county and city governments to raise fees.

Hear it here: Property Tax Down, Fees Up

Tuesdays vote was to lower property taxes, but experts say higher millage rates, increased fees, and the loss of sales tax exemptions are on the horizon.

Bill Horak, who voted for amendment one, said he knew referendum would come with a catch.

It doesnt surprise me, said Horak. I think we still need to pay for those folks. I just think spreading the taxes as equally as possible is a good way to look at it.

The tax cut will save home owners an average of 240 dollars a year, but the loss of that cash will cause local governments to look for ways to make ends meet. Members of The Association of Counties said mileage rates could go up and government services could cost more.

Fees are something counties will have a chance to look at, said Cragin Mosteller, a spokesperson for the association.

Experts with Tax watch said fees for trash, fire and parks services are most likely to go up. Governor Charlie Crist said despite what counties and cities do hes looking for even more property tax cuts.

We have to consult with the legislature and see what their appetite is, said Crist. I know what the appetite of the people is, they want to see more property tax cuts. And I support it.

How the amendment shakes out financially will be different in every county.

Experts with Florida Tax Watch said taxes on gas could also be raised.

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