During the run up to the Great Recession, with Florida’s housing market booming, it was not unheard of to see the ad valorem taxes on non-homesteaded properties jumping annually by double-digit percentages, according to former State Sen. Don Gaetz.
“Those huge increases were being passed on to small businesses who rented their stores or individuals renting apartments,” Gaetz said.
In 2008, the Florida Legislature called for a constitutional amendment that would cap non-homesteaded tax assessment increases at 10 percent of the previous year’s assessed value. The measure, that included an expiration date of 2019, passed with 64 percent voter approval.
This year lawmakers have proposed, through Constitutional Amendment 2, to make the 10 percent cap on non-homestead property assessments permanent. With property values again on the rise, Gaetz said a voter decision to do so would be a wise move.
“It’s very important this cap be made permanent,” he said. “If not there are places in Florida where property taxes will skyrocket.”
The Florida Association of Realtors is listed on a Florida League of Cities website as supporting the proposed assessments cap. The site states only three state lawmakers opposed putting the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot and indicates no opposition to Amendment 2 has arisen.
“In the current age of partisanship, it’s often difficult to find an issue that people with different viewpoints can agree on, but with Amendment 2 we did just that,” Carrie O’Rourke, vice president of public policy for Florida Realtors, said in a news release announcing a campaign for passage of Amendment 2.
Some residential properties, such as second homes and apartments, as well as commercial property and vacant land, are considered non-homestead properties.