Taxwatch: Property Taxes Could Rise $700 Million In Voters Reject Amendment

May 16, 2018

Florida TaxWatch released a study Tuesday projecting property taxes could increase by more than $700 million on non-homestead properties like businesses, apartments and second homes. According to the group, the increase would happen if voters reject a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Known as Amendment 2, the proposal would extend a current 10 percent cap on annual increases in assessed values of non-homestead properties, a cap that voters approved in 2008.

TaxWatch Vice President Kurt Wenner said many Floridians are not aware of how much taxes could go up if the cap is lifted. “If Amendment 2 fails to pass, it doesn’t mean that the cap is just no longer going to be in effect going forward,” Wenner said during a media event at the Florida Press Center.

“It means that all of this property will suddenly be assessed at full value. This can be quite a big sticker shock when some people get their tax bills.” Wenner said he expects potential tax increases would be passed along to renters and business customers, making the issue important whether someone owns property or not.

Supporters of the amendment say it is currently polling at just under 60 percent, which is the threshold for amendments to pass.

The Legislature in 2017 decided to put Amendment 2 on this year’s ballot. Senator Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican who sponsored the proposal in 2017, estimated at the time that failure to extend the cap would effectively lead to a $688 million tax increase. In all, the November ballot will include 13 proposed constitutional amendments.


15 Responses to “Taxwatch: Property Taxes Could Rise $700 Million In Voters Reject Amendment”

  1. Lisa on June 27th, 2018 10:38 pm

    I own rental units.I am not a “corporation” I am a small business owner with affordable rentals. Not those that have recently been built that cost $1000 or more a month. For most that live in Pensacola, that is not affordable. If Amendment 2 does not pass, the entire amount of additional tax costs to me will be placed on each renter. There are already very few “real” affordable rentals in Pensacola at this time. There will be fewer if this is not passed.

  2. Travis on June 3rd, 2018 2:37 pm

    As a Florida resident, homeowner and taxpayer I read this May16th article on upcoming Property Tax constitutional amendments with great interest. I am afraid is getting lost in the constitutional amendment traffic on this year’s General Election ballot.

    Amendment 1 (an additional $25,000 homestead exemption) would benefit many taxpayers who have a Homestead Exemption and for that reason alone is likely to pass. This will create an almost immediate 600 Million loss of taxes statewide, something the State of Florida hasn’t experience in quite some time.

    This leads me to Amendment 2 (makes permanent 10% cap on Non-Homestead properties). Jesse Dunn, director of management and budget for St. Johns County, recently called Amendment 2 “its own monster”, saying that it would be hard even to quantify the effect of extending the cap into perpetuity at this point, and going on to say that the county has already been living with the cap for the last 10 years and called its effects on revenues “absolutely significant”.

    A careful reading of the language of this misleading amendment reflects that Amendment 2 benefits Non-Homestead property owners to the tune of almost 1.2 Billion dollars annually, and this corporate welfare is being given to some of our largest commercial properties owners in the state, including owners of oceanfront hotels, mega malls and high rise buildings. All while our residents are left holding the bag. Mr. Dunn was quoted as saying “measures such as staff reductions, furloughs, freezes on merit and cost of living raises, reductions to service and deferred maintenance that the county had to resort to 10 years ago could be back on the table”.

    Floridians should protect our local governments and our first responders by VOTING NO ON AMENDMENT 2.


  3. Bob on May 20th, 2018 8:28 am

    Keep in mind that Alabama has a state income tax. We do not here in Florida thanks to our tourism.

  4. Laura on May 18th, 2018 12:59 am

    It is time we the voters especially NW Florida look at the difference in homestead properties and just across the line in Alabama. Our friends in Escambia County Al pay about HALF the taxes on their property as we do. Now if you have any acreage on any of your land YOU ARE LIMITED ON HOW MANY HOUSES CAN BE BUILT. Why should Escambia County care if we let all 10 of our children build on the acreage we have. Why have we set on our laurels and let this pass? We need some lawmakers from this end of the world and we cannot get them because those that have run for office CANNOT GET ENOUGH VOTES FROM OUR AREA TO GET ELECTED. We are lumped in with as far away as Nine Mile Road that don’t care about these issues because they live on lots NOT acreage so their relatives cannot build near them because they don’t own any acreage. If taxes are needed why is our schools in the North end of Escambia County allowing children from Alabama attend our schools to keep from paying a Private School Tuition. If you don’t believe this is happening be in the area just South of the Alabama/Florida State Line and see how many cars from Albama waitning on school buses to stop and let them catch “Mommie” home that is waiting on them. If it is taxes they are contemplating on needing, leave us landowers alone and tax Alabama residents for services they are getting thru our schools.

  5. Wilykyote on May 17th, 2018 9:14 pm

    Talkin bout taxes…….anyone see how much the Parkland
    School resource deputy ( stayed Outside) is collecting on
    pension now? Think it’s about $8500 per month! I’m
    thinking non homestead properties could also be an investment
    lot or rental house. A little beach home ( 2nd home ). Many
    Cities,Counties and States are in very serious financial condition
    due to outrageous and unfunded pension plans. They keep taking
    and taking and we don’t even notice or seem to care. So be very
    careful when voting on amendments……they suspect we ain’t real
    smart !

  6. ekg on May 17th, 2018 4:34 pm

    Property taxes have always aggravated me….It seems that the only people financing everything are property owners…….why not just add a few cents to purchases and set that aside….that way everyone in Escambia county would be financing …..including tourists.

  7. Alan on May 17th, 2018 3:10 am

    Dennis Enderson, an increase in property taxes of non-homesteader property will impact you, if not directly, as it will contribute to overall cost inflation of the community and most likely, loss of business/jobs. That 700 million is not just going to be absorbed by the owners of those business and rental property with a smile on their faces. It will be passed through to the renters as increased rent and to the customers of those businesses lucky enough to stay in business. This will affect all citizens in Florida one way or the other.

    And way to get that class warfare going with the “kind wealthy people own” comment.

  8. William on May 16th, 2018 8:13 pm

    >>William, do you know if this Amendment 2 proposal is one that is “Bundled” with another issue?

    It stands alone. Others, like drilling and vaping, are together.

  9. Anne on May 16th, 2018 7:21 pm

    William, do you know if this Amendment 2 proposal is one that is “Bundled” with another issue? I’ve not been able to determine if a vote on this is also a vote on another Amendment.
    Thank you, Anne

  10. Wake Up on May 16th, 2018 2:22 pm

    Businesses and apartment owners don’t absorb the cost of higher taxes; they pass it to customers and tenants. And guess what, most apartment rentals are by people or families who can’t afford a homestead like some “wealthy” individuals. One’s opinion of wealth is dependent on their lack of wealth.

  11. SOUTHERNER on May 16th, 2018 10:56 am

    NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Dennis Enderson on May 16th, 2018 10:43 am

    It is important to know that the failure of this amendment to pass would NOT affect the assessed values of homesteaded properties, the kind most of us own. It would impact only non-homestead properties like businesses, apartments and second homes – the kinds owned by wealthier folks. It’s OK to not want their taxes to go up too fast either, but don’t fall for any scare tactics designed to frighten ordinary homeowners into believing that your taxes would go up also.

  13. John on May 16th, 2018 9:34 am

    Is Florida slowly becoming California?

  14. Mike Cooney on May 16th, 2018 9:01 am

    NO MORE damn taxes!! More and better management, less corruption! The school sys has enough money if they had good management.

  15. chris on May 16th, 2018 7:06 am

    Since the legislature has cut funding for public education, I think the taxes are warranted.

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