Amendment Four Could Be Costly

The increases on property taxes for businesses and other non-homestead properties are limited to ten percent a year. Amendment Four would cut that in half; businesses are urging a "yes" vote.

"We support Amendment Four because it is a tax break for not only tax payers but for small business," said Laticia Adams with the Florida Chamber.

First time home buyers will also get a break if Amendment Four passes. A $200,000 house would be taxed at just $100,000 the first year, gradually increasing to 150,000 over five years.

The third leg of Amendment Four deals with the Save Our Homes exemption.

Last year, the market value of a house was 248,000. This year, the same house was almost 11,000 less. But because it’s taxed below market value, the taxes can go up by as much as 3%. Amendment Four would stop the increase.

Florida’s cities and counties are opposed to Amendment Four. They say it will be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

"The cities and counties are going to have three choices. They can raise taxes, raise fees, or cut services. Any of those three choices means that our homeowners pay the price," said Cragin Mosteller.

Florida TaxWatch isn’t taking a position on Amendment Four, but two years ago the government watchdog distributed a report that says tax caps can hurt the economy.

The independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says Amendment Four could cost jobs, raise taxes and force cuts in services.

The League of Women Voters is urging a no vote on Amendment Four and every other amendment.


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