Times are tough financially, and with the impending November election, in which there are 11 amendments for voters to cast their lots, a lot of concern by government leaders. The overwhelming majority of the amendments call for either capping or reducing tax revenues. One in particular has municipalities most concerned, at least to Bartow Mayor Leo Longworth.
Having recently returned from a Florida League of Cities gathering, Longworth asked fellow commissioners to join with other communities expressing concern over Amendment Four. That proposed amendment, which Commissioner James. F. Clements said is heavily supported by Realtors and real estate agents and agencies, essentially will (according to a flyer issued by the League of Women Voters) prevent the assessed value of homesteaded and specified non-homesteaded properties from increasing if the market value of the property decreases compared to the previous year. Passage of the amendment would allow the Legislature to eliminate a provision in the current law known as a “recapture,” which can cause the taxable value to rise even if the market value drops. A second provision would reduce from 10 percent to 5 percent the cap on annual increases in the assessments of specified non-homesteaded properties, such as residential rental property and the like. It is estimated a total of $1 billion in property tax revenue would be lost over the next three years.
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