The Florida Property Tax, called Amendment 4, is on the November 6, 2012, state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. Generally speaking, the voters approve amendments that reduce taxes.
This constitutional amendment may have a profound impact on future property tax revenues of both municipalities as well as unincorporated Miami-Dade.
What Amend 4 proposes to do: The proposed amendment would prohibit increases in the assessed value of homestead property if the fair market value of the property decreases; reduces the limitation on annual assessment increases to non-homestead property; and provides an additional homestead exemption.
Specifically, non-homestead or commercial property would have their assessment increases capped at 3 percent per year. This is the same relief current offered to present residential property owners under the Save our Homes amendment (SOH). The property tax rate would also be lowered to 10 percent for rental and 5 percent for commercial properties.
Non-residential (homestead) properties would no longer see disproportionally higher assessments in years where values increase.
This amendment will prevent a local property taxable value from increasing more than 5 percent in any year – homestead properties would remain at 3%, commercial property at 5% and 10% for rental property.
Additionally, the measure would implement an additional homestead exemption for first-time buyers equal to 50 percent of the median home price in the county. The additional exemption, however, would be gradually reduced until it expires within 5 years.
Recent media sources, see: Tampa Bay Times, online, Florida's Amendment 4 a boon for first-time home buyers, but counties cringe, By Mark Puente, Times Staff Writer.
The proposed measure requires 60 percent voter approval for adoption.