Under a new plan to be unveiled during the June 12 session, Florida taxpayers will save $31.6 billion over the next 5 years.  This is the largest property tax cut in Florida history by far.  There are two parts to the tax relief, statutory and a constitutional amendment.

We have the details now.  First is a detailed letter from Ken Pruitt, President of the Senate and Marco Rubio, Speaker of the House of Representatives to the Florida Legislature.

Lee County looks to have a 7% statutory cut, while Collier County should receive a 9% cut, and Charlotte County will receive a 9.0% cut by statute.  See Goverment Tax Rollback Calculations.  The counties with the highest tax increases per capita over the last 5 years will be forced to cut the most.

We’ve even included the city government tax rollback calculations, and it’s no surprise that Naples and Cape Coral will be forced to cut taxes by 9%.  The cities with the highest per capita tax levies changes over the previous 5 years will be forced to cut the most.  Marco Island and Fort Myers will be forced to cut 7%, and Bonita Springs will be forced to cut 3%  Punta Gorda will face cuts of 5%.

A second part of the cut is that in addition to rolling back property taxes to 2006-2007 levels, special taxing districts and fiscally limited cities and counties will be required to make additional cuts of 3% .  And, there will be a cap on future property tax revenues based on the rate of personal income growth, and new construction to ensure that government cannot grow faster than personal income.

We’ve also included the Florida School Districts future rate cuts.  We’ve been told that even though schools will face a reduction in future property tax revenue, schools should not worry that their funding will be cut.  We presume that the State will fund any loss in tax revenues at the state level.  The plan specifically states that the state will hold schools harmless from these cuts.

Perhaps most importantly will be the $16 Billion tax relief protion of the package which will unlock the prison doors for many Florida homeowners who felt they could not afford to sell because their property taxes woul be too great once they replaced their home in Florida at the new rates not protected by Save our Homes.  “Save our Homes” is replaced with a new “Super Exemption”.  An estimated 73% of homesteaded properties will receive greater benefit under this new exemption.  The average savings of $1,300 in 2008-2009 will be an average 44% reduction.  The program works like this:

Level 1.  Homesteaded property will receive an exemption of 75% of the first $200,000 in value of a home, with a minimum exemption of $50,000 per homestead.

Level 2.  In addition to Level 1, homesteaded properties will obtain another 15% exemption for the next $300,000 in value.

For the minority of property owners who have greater benefits under the current “Save Our Homes” plan, the tax savings and assessment cap will be grandfathered in.

All other existing constitutional exemptions based on special circumstances, including those to disabled veterans, low income seniors, and agricultural lands will preserve their exemptions.

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