John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Florida Judge Says Property Tax Amendment "Misleading"

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.

For more information or questions about this topic please call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:

I also invite you to visit my my website where I think you will find a lot of useful information. To get there just click on the following link:

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 3 commentsJohn Elwell • September 25 2007 07:43PM


It looks like they are going to appeal this ruling.  I don't blame them.  However, I don't think this amendment is going to do much to help anyone significantly except for people looking to a buy a homestead property.  Existing homeowners, rental owners, and business owners are getting basically no relief.
Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 13 years ago
Rob I tend to agree with you. I will look good to homeowners at the start, but I bet eventually as assessments rise uncontrolled by Save Our Homes, it will become less attractive. And as you say it does not thing for landlords, commercial properties, etc. Will the state then try to recover the money from these groups? I wonder. In the end, if we want the services we have to pay for them, but we want the bang for the buck. One thing I do like about this is that ALL residents will at least pay a little for living here. It has always bothered me that, at least in the past, there have been some that paid very little or no tax. As citizens I think we should all contribute something, even if it is just $100 per year for the services we use. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. After the lack of improvement in the insurance situation, I have my doubts that in 2 or 3 years we will be better off. Having no income tax and depending on property and sales taxes has always been part of the problem.
Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 13 years ago
I read in the Orlando Sentinel a week or 2 ago that about 2/3 of all properties in Florida don't have a homestead tax exemption.  So 2/3 of all properties would be unaffected by this amendment.
Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 13 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments