The agents in our office are talking about what happened yesterday, September 24th. A circuit court judge said that the property tax amendment that we were supposed to vote on in January 2008 was "misleading". Apparently the wording made it unclear when and how the "Save Our Homes" rules that are now in effect would be phased out once-and-for-all. As most people understood it, we could either use the new Super Homestead Exemption or keep Save Our Homes, whichever benefited us more tax-wise. However, once we sold our homes in the future we would have to use the Super Homestead Exemption. But the amendment had language that said "preserving the Save Our Homes provisions until an irrevocable election was held". This was the part that the judge felt was misleading, because the amendment itself would phase out the Save Our Homes rule.
The legislature has now scheduled yet ANOTHER special session on October 3rd to find a way to fix this problem. They have three choices: Revise the wording of the amendment, appeal the judge's decision, or a combination of both.
One way to by-pass the judge is to hand the whole thing over to the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. Supposedly this group can put the issue to the voters on their own initiative. However, they could not do it by January and we would have to wait until November of 2008 at the earliest to vote on the proposed amendment.
So to recap, insurance reform is not doing the job it was meant to, the state cannot decide where to find budget cuts to meet shortfalls, the property tax reform is not understood by most of the citizens, there is doubt that it will provide real tax relief, and now a judge has struck down the amendment to institute the proposed property tax reform. Sometimes don't you begin to wonder if we have a functioning state government in Tallahassee or a circus? At least with the circus you get popcorn and hotdogs with the show. They do, however, seem to have plenty of clowns there.
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John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida