Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121124
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File Number: 121124 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-615-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ENACT LIMITED AMNESTY FROM PENALTIES FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION Introduced: 5/31/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 7/3/2012
Agenda Date: 7/3/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A36
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LIMITED AMNESTY FROM PENALTIES AND INTEREST TO ENCOURAGE TAXPAYERS WHO IMPROPERLY RECEIVED HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS TO COME FORWARD, PAY PAST TAXES, AND HAVE THEIR PROPERTIES PROPERLY PLACED ON THE TAX ROLL FOR FUTURE TAX YEARS
Indexes: HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime 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 7/3/2012 11A36 Adopted P

County Attorney 5/31/2012 Referred

County Attorney 5/31/2012 Assigned Thomas W. Logue

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LIMITED AMNESTY FROM PENALTIES AND INTEREST TO ENCOURAGE TAXPAYERS WHO IMPROPERLY RECEIVED HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS TO COME FORWARD, PAY PAST TAXES, AND HAVE THEIR PROPERTIES PROPERLY PLACED ON THE TAX ROLL FOR FUTURE TAX YEARS

BODY
WHEREAS, Florida law provides for a homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes and a cap or limitation on increases in the assessment on homestead property, including those provided in sections 196.031 and 193.155, Florida Statutes (“Exemptions”); and
WHEREAS, due in part to the decline in the real estate market caused by the current recession and the resulting financial pressures on residential property owners, there has been an increase in the number of instances in which taxpayers have improperly claimed and received such Exemptions; and
WHEREAS, instances in which taxpayers have improperly received Exemptions both shifts the tax burden to other taxpayers and reduces the revenues that should otherwise be available to fund schools, public safety, and local government services; and
WHEREAS, under Florida law, punishments for improper Exemptions currently include a lien of back taxes extending back ten years, plus a penalty of 50 percent of the unpaid taxes, plus interest at the rate of 15 percent per year; and
WHEREAS, existing law allows for the waiver of penalties and interest on an improper homestead exemption only in very limited circumstances, for example, based upon a “clerical mistake or an omission by the Property Appraiser,” section 196.161 (1) (b), Florida Statutes; and that, therefore, existing law would need to be changed in order to implement a meaningful amnesty program; and
WHEREAS, such limited waiver provisions as exist under current law may have an unduly punitive effect in cases where an Exemption was obtained or kept mistakenly rather than fraudulently; and
WHEREAS, such limited waiver provisions may also have the unintended consequences of discouraging taxpayers who might otherwise be prepared to come forward, pay back taxes, and have their properties properly placed on the tax roll; and
WHEREAS, reasonable positive incentives, such as programs for limited amnesty from penalties and interest, may better serve to obtain compliance with the tax laws and increase the flow of ad valorem revenues used to fund schools, public safety, and other local government services,
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 limited amnesty from penalties and interest for taxpayers who have improperly received homestead tax exemptions and limitations to encourage those taxpayers to come forward, to pay back taxes, and to cooperate with efforts to have their properties properly placed on the tax roll for future tax years.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to support the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2013 state legislative package when it is presented to the Board.



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