Trading Up in Tampa

by : Calum MacKenzie

Tampa Bay is an area that is full to the brim with amazing homes and with new homes being built all the time there is pretty much an endless selection to choose from. However, this may be a moot point as the newly proposed property tax laws may severely affect the average home owner's ability to purchase a new home in the Tampa area. This reality could have some fairly alarming effects on both the real estate and business sectors as both have a huge and vested interest in the success of Tampa's home sales. This will also have a huge effect on who is able to purchase homes as with property taxes on the upswing it seems likely that the large yearly cost may cause some buyers to shy away from home ownership. Let's have a closer look at exactly what this proposed property tax bill will mean to home owners and interested home buyers if it does in fact get passed.

The first amendment that is up for consideration is a homestead exemption of $50K to $195K. The idea is that this will replace the current homestead exemption as well as replace the "Save Our Homes" tax plan already in place. The greatest value in this new deal will be home owners whose home value is in the 200 to 300k range. These home owners should see a significant decrease in their property taxes. However in areas like Tampa where homes are starting in the $400K range it really does not seem that the new tax law will have any positive impact.

It would appear that a 60% vote by Florida voters is needed in order for this bill to pass into law. Now, the question is is this going to happen? Current opinion is that the bill will not pass with the percentage that it requires and that the government need to rethink the approach to the problem of high property taxes. The question that home owners should be asking is why are the taxes as high as they are in the first place? And what can reasonably be done about the situation? It is apparent that a revamping of the property tax structure is indeed in order and the proposed law only scratches the surface of what really needs to be done.