Supported property tax breaks for police, teachers and military – CBS Miami

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The Florida House on Thursday unanimously passed a proposal that would ask voters to increase property tax exemptions for first responders, teachers and the military, with the issue to be put to a key Senate committee on Monday.

The proposal has been a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprows, a Republican from Palm Harbor who has pointed out that potential property tax cuts are more beneficial to Floridians than Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to suspend property taxes. petrol for five months.

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If approved by voters in November, the proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 1) is expected to save targeted homeowners $80.9 million over the next fiscal year, with annual savings rising to $93.6 million. dollars in five years. Members of the House also passed an accompanying bill (HB 1563).

Sponsor Josie Tomkow, R-Polk City, said the proposal is “targeted relief” for first responders and other Floridians who have jobs people rely on daily. It would apply to classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child protective service professionals, military in active duty and members of the Florida National Guard.

The proposal is expected to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, according to a Senate timetable.

Sprows touted the homestead proposal while noting that DeSantis’ gas tax proposal would end up providing tax breaks for many out-of-state visitors. The House did not include DeSantis’ proposal in a broad tax package (HB 7071) that will be negotiated with the Senate.

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“I think our best estimate is that hundreds of millions of dollars of this gas tax (cut) would go to people who don’t live in the state,” Sprows told reporters Feb. 10. “You take, for example, HJR 1, which is a homestead exemption that applies to police officers, firefighters, first responders, child protection investigators, active duty military, that’s something that obviously applies not only to Floridians but to the people that we need to live and work, you know, close to our community, so that’s a priority of the House, and that’s what we we focus.

The Florida Counties Association expressed concern that the proposal would shift more of the tax burden to tenants and businesses.

Under current law, homeowners can claim tax exemptions on the first $25,000 of the property’s appraised value. They may also qualify for homestead exemptions of $25,000 on a value between $50,000 and $75,000. Any higher land value is taxable.

Under the proposal, owners in targeted occupations could benefit from an additional exemption of $50,000, which would apply to property values ​​between $100,000 and $150,000.

The current exemption for value between $50,000 and $75,000 does not apply to property taxes collected for school districts, and neither does Tomkow’s proposal.

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Penny D. Jackson