Florida HB 7019: What to know about new homestead exemption bill – NBC Miami

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Homeowners in Florida may see their property taxes go down after the Republican-led state legislature passed a bill that was signed by the governor Friday.

House Bill 7019 now must be approved by voters in the form of constitutional Amendment 5, which will appear on November’s ballot.

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In Florida now, homeowners are permitted to reduce by $50,000 the assessed value of their home, which in turn reduces the property tax burden. For example, the owner of a $300,000 home would pay taxes on $250,000.

John White, a homeowner with a pulse on South Florida’s real estate market, said that’s an incentive.

“If a tax comes in, chances are it does not go down, it stays there, or it goes up, so anytime you hear about an initiative or success in getting taxes reduced on any level is great and incentivizes people to come and be property owners in Florida,” White said.

Amendment 5 would increase that $50,000 exemption, consistent with the rate of inflation. If the consumer price index is up 4%, homeowners would see a similar increase in their homestead exemption, further reducing their tax burden.

It’s the governor and state legislature’s approach to inflation and Florida’s skyrocketing housing costs.

The downside is that municipalities, typically counties, could see a reduction in revenues, raising concerns about maintaining county services like police, fire and libraries.

Also, renters — like people in apartments — would not enjoy a tax cut.

“I see this as less of a tax cut and more of a tax shift where folks that are not property owners would end up having to make up the difference,” Orlando area state Rep. Anna Eskamani, who is a renter, told the Florida Phoenix.

Should voters approve, the state has set aside funds for mostly rural counties that would see a substantial reduction in revenues.

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