Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 062922
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File Number: 062922 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1447-06 Control: County Commission
File Name: TAX RELIEF FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS Introduced: 10/6/2006
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/19/2006
Agenda Date: 12/19/2006 Agenda Item Number: 14A7
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A JOINT RESOLUTION OR SERIES OF JOINT RESOLUTIONS PROPOSING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS FOR THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF THAT INCLUDES DOUBLING THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION; ALLOWING LIMITED PORTABILITY OF THE SAVE OUR HOMES PROPERTY TAX DIFFERENTIAL; FREEZING THE PROPERTY TAXES OF LOW-INCOME SENIORS; PROVIDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS BY PHASING IN THE FIRST TAXABLE $100,000 OF ASSESSED VALUE OVER A FOUR YEAR TIME PERIOD; AND CAPPING PROPERTY TAX INCREASES OF NON-HOMESTEAD PROPERTY, INCLUDING RENTAL AND BUSINESS PROPERTIES
Indexes: HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
  LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/19/2006 14A7 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Sorenson asked the County Administration to provide a financial analysis or the fiscal impact to the County for the proposed 2008 constitutional amendments providing comprehensive property tax relief. The Board by motion duly made, seconded and carried, voted to adopt the foregoing proposed resolution as presented. Responding to Commissioner Diaz’ comments pertaining to affordability, Chairman Martinez discussed the freezing of tax assessments on properties for senior citizens. He noted the Florida Association of Counties and Dade League of Cities opposed the freeze for senior citizens. Commissioner Jordan noted she voted “No” due to the potential impact to smaller municipalities. Discussion ensued among Board members in connection with the affordability for the citizens in this community. Commissioner Moss asked the County Administration to provide a report outlining the real estate industry’s viewpoint on the potential impact to the real estate market as a result of the proposed 2008 constitutional amendments relating to comprehensive property tax relief in Florida. In addition, this report should outline options available to the County in order to be proactive for the economic sector of this community. Commissioner Sorenson asked the Department of Planning and Zoning Director to re-examine the County’s demographics and growth rate due to the decline in enrollment at Miami-Dade County Public School Board (MDCPSB), and if these factors impacted the real estate issues in Miami-Dade County. Following Commissioner Sorenson’s inquiry, County Manager George Burgess noted staff would conduct a review of the MDCPSB information.

County Manager 12/18/2006 Additions 12/19/2006

Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 12/13/2006 2TT Forwarded to the BCC by the BCC Chairperson with a favorable recommendation 12/19/2006 P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Maldonado read the foregoing resolution into the record. Commissioners Gimenez and Souto requested to be listed as co-sponsors of the foregoing resolution. Chairwoman Heyman asked Assistant County Attorney Maldonado to prepare appropriate memorandum requesting that Chairman Martinez waive the Board’s Rules and Procedures and to allow this proposed resolution to be placed on the December 19, 2006 agenda. There being no further discussion or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 10/6/2006 Referred Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 12/13/2006

County Attorney 10/6/2006 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A JOINT RESOLUTION OR SERIES OF JOINT RESOLUTIONS PROPOSING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS FOR THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF THAT INCLUDES DOUBLING THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION; ALLOWING LIMITED PORTABILITY OF THE SAVE OUR HOMES PROPERTY TAX DIFFERENTIAL; FREEZING THE PROPERTY TAXES OF LOW-INCOME SENIORS; PROVIDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS BY PHASING IN THE FIRST TAXABLE $100,000 OF ASSESSED VALUE OVER A FOUR YEAR TIME PERIOD; AND CAPPING PROPERTY TAX INCREASES OF NON-HOMESTEAD PROPERTY, INCLUDING RENTAL AND BUSINESS PROPERTIES

BODY
WHEREAS, property taxes have risen dramatically in recent years because of increases in the value of real property in Florida; and
WHEREAS, there is now a need for comprehensive property tax relief in Florida; and
WHEREAS, this Board has over the last several years championed various proposals to provide targeted property tax relief, including efforts to freeze the assessed value of homestead property of low-income seniors, Resolution No. 419-05, and efforts to allow "empty nest" seniors and the disabled the option to move to a smaller, less expensive home without giving up the Save Our Homes differential, Resolution No. 1168-05; and
WHEREAS, this resolution is an effort to collect together and build on prior efforts, and offer a proposal for comprehensive property tax reform targeted at a number of specific groups, including senior citizens, first-time homebuyers, growing families wanting to move to a bigger home, renters and other homestead and non-homestead property owners; and
WHEREAS, Florida's $25,000 ad valorem homestead exemption has not been increased since the early 1980's; and
WHEREAS, allowing cities and counties a local option to double the ad valorem homestead exemption from $25,000 to an amount not to exceed $50,000 will grant much needed property tax relief to Florida's homestead property owners; and
WHEREAS, Save Our Homes, which limits increases in assessed values to either three percent or the consumer price index (CPI), whichever is lower, has resulted in assessed values of homestead properties being significantly less than these properties' just value; and
WHEREAS, when homestead property is sold, the assessment limitation is not transferable to new property being purchased, and said new property is required to be assessed at just value; and
WHEREAS, Save Our Homes has had the unintended consequences of trapping people in their homes because moving to new homes would result in assessed values which are double or triple that of the prior homestead property; and
WHEREAS, broad portability of the Save Our Homes assessment limitation would allow a wide range of families to move to new homes that better fit their needs, whether it is a smaller home for "empty nest" families whose adult children have moved out, or a bigger home for a growing family; and
WHEREAS, by limiting portability only to moves within the same county or counties that enter reciprocal agreements, and by capping the Save Our Homes differential amount that can be transferred at up to $250,000, limited Save Our Homes portability can be achieved without an undue burden on the provision of essential services by local governments; and
WHEREAS, senior citizens, particularly those on fixed-incomes, have been least able to afford the recent increases in property taxes even with the additional $25,000 senior homestead exemption provided by Article VII, Section 6(f), of the Florida Constitution; and
WHEREAS, low-income senior citizens would benefit from a constitutional amendment freezing their tax assessments; and
WHEREAS, House Joint Resolutions had been filed each of the last several years that would freeze the tax assessments of low-income senior citizens, but these joint resolutions have not passed both the House and Senate; and
WHEREAS, freezing the assessed value of senior citizens would provide targeted property tax relief to a group that is in great need of such relief; and
WHEREAS, while Save Our Homes has helped existing homeowners, it has not helped first-time homebuyers who find it increasingly difficult to afford to buy a home; and
WHEREAS, property taxes, along with property insurance, are significant obstacles to homeownership for first-time homebuyers; and
WHEREAS, property tax relief targeted at first-time homebuyers could help thousands of families in buying homes that they otherwise could not afford; and
WHEREAS, Save Our Homes has not helped owners of non-homestead property, such as residential rental property, vacation and second homes, and commercial and industrial property; and
WHEREAS, Save Our Homes has generally had the effect of shifting the tax burden from homestead property to non-homestead property by producing valuation differentials for tax purposes between homestead and non-homestead properties having similar market values that are in some cases substantial; and
WHEREAS, absent reform, this shift of the tax burden will only get worse as annual increases in the assessed value of homestead property continues to be capped at three percent or the CPI, while non-homestead property has no such cap; and
WHEREAS, a cap on non-homestead residential rental, commercial and industrial property should curb the shift of the property tax burden from homestead properties to non-homestead properties which has resulted from Save Our Homes; and
WHEREAS, a higher cap on non-homestead property than on homestead property may curb the shift in property tax burden without unduly limiting local government's ability to provide essential services; and
WHEREAS, capping the annual increases in the assessed value of residential rental property may help to curb increases in rental rates on residential rental property that has been a contributing factor to the affordable housing crisis Miami-Dade County currently faces,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to enact a joint resolution or series of joint resolutions proposing constitutional amendments for the 2008 general election that if passed would provide comprehensive property tax relief that includes one or more of the following:
I. Allowing counties and cities for the purposes of their respective tax levies the local option to increase the ad valorem homestead exemption from $25,000 to an amount not to exceed $50,000.
II. Allowing for limited portability of the Save Our Homes differential, such that a homeowner could transfer up to $250,000 of the existing Save Our Homes differential to a new home, so long as the new home is located in the same or a reciprocal county.
III. Freezing tax assessments on the property of senior citizens meeting the requirements set forth in Article VII, Section 6(f), of the Florida Constitution.
IV. Allowing cities and counties a local option for the purpose of their respective tax levies, to provide for a four-year reduction in the assessed value of property purchased on the first taxable $100,000 in assessed value after the homestead exemption, according to a schedule such as the following:
80 percent reduction in the first year;
60 percent reduction in the second year;
40 percent reduction in the third year; and
20 percent reduction in the fourth year.

V. Providing businesses and other non-homestead properties with an assessment cap of five percent per year similar to Save Our Homes.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2007 State Legislative Package.



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