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FAPA: Yes on Amendment 2 will avert tax crisis

The Florida Association of Property Appraisers (FAPA) recommends Floridians vote YES on Amendment 2.

The amendment asks voters whether to make permanent a 10 percent limit on the annual increase in assessed value of a non-homestead property. A “yes” vote will avert a sudden and largely unexpected tax crisis for more than 5 million residential and business property owners throughout Florida.

Most homeowners in Florida enjoy the tax savings afforded by two $25,000 homestead exemptions. Business owners, rental property owners, second homeowners and part-time retirees, whose permanent residence may be in another state, are not eligible for those exemptions.

For them, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 that placed a 10 percent limit on the annual increase in assessed value of a non-homestead property, commonly referred to as the 10 percent cap.

Over the past 10 years, these property owners have enjoyed significant tax savings as a result of this assessment limitation.

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What many people do not know is that the 10 percent cap on non-homestead property is set to expire at the end of 2018. If Amendment 2 does not pass, those non-homestead property owners will have to pay more than

$700 million additional property taxes next year according to the state Revenue Estimating Conference.

For property owners running their own small business, property taxes are one of, if not the largest, expense. For example, a business owner operating a local diner has been enjoying the benefits of a $200,000 non-homestead cap for the past 10 years. Without the cap, this property’s taxable value will increase by $200,000 January 1, 2019, which may represent an additional $2,400 in property taxes.

What is perhaps most concerning about the cap’s looming deadline is that many of the people whom it will directly affect are unaware of the cap and/or its expiration date. We encourage all voters to talk to friends, family, and local business owners in your neighborhood about the importance of this amendment. If you are the owner of a non-homestead property, we urge you to call your local property appraiser to find out how the repeal of the 10 percent cap will affect your property.

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The Florida Association of Property Appraisers (FAPA) is a statewide professional organization comprised of locally elected, constitutionally authorized property appraisers.

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