January 30, 2008 — Florida — In a crushing 64% to 36% vote Florida voters overwhelmingly brought in a new wave of property tax reform in their state, passing Amendment 1. The amendment would lower property taxes. It increases the homestead exemption by $15,000, saving voters an average of $240. It also provides “portability” of protected assessed values for Florida residents, meaning that if they sell their homes and move to a new one they can continue to have a 3% cap on the assessed value for their “protected” amounts.
The Miami Herald said that “… passage of the plan is only the first phase of what ((Governor Crist) promised would be ”just the start” of a prolonged push to lower property taxes.” The paper mentioned that Florida’s the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission will consider other tax-cut ideas, including replacing the property taxes for schools with a sales tax on services.
The vote is considered a landmark victory for tax reform. Other states may be expected to follow, which could have enormous consequences for the budgets of local municipalities across the nation.