Front page article in the Tampa Tribune. I know I've been preaching to the choir about how the "Save Our Homes" tax system is royally screwing the real estate here - it's nice to see that the msm is finally catching a hint.
"Recent buyers in Florida’s housing market are learning hard lessons, come tax time.
The year after a home qualifies for a homestead exemption, it is shielded from the double- or triple-digit assessment hikes that have been the norm in the sellers’ market of the past few years. That shield comes courtesy of a Save Our Homes cap that limits such increases to a maximum 3 percent a year.
But before that kicks in, the reassessments that take place when property is sold can yield astounding changes in taxable value.
For Jamie Tingen, the surprise came with this year’s tax bill. A Florida resident for a half-century, she traded up from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom townhouse on the same street.
Her tax bill more than tripled."
People are absolutely clueless about this. They see what the current owner has been paying for taxes, and the realtors (being the soul-less wonders that they are) make no attempt to inform the buyer that, the following year after the purchase, their home will be re-assessed at CURRENT market value, which can often mean a several-thousand dollar increase per year. For current homeowners who want to move up, it'll bite you good.
"Just last year, Tingen, as a longtime owner of a homesteaded property, was on the enviable side of the street of Florida’s property tax system. Her smaller townhouse, which she bought in 1980, had an assessed value last year of $45,305 – held down for the past decade by the Save Our Homes cap.
Its market value was far more. She sold it for $137,000. The tax bill for the new owners leaped to $2,200 from the $500 Tingen paid last year.
She says such disparities are unfair: “Everybody seems to be in the same boat, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.” "
People from out of state are being stunned by their predicament.
"Aldegonda Caris and her husband, Glenn Smith, moved from Long Island, N.Y., to Tampa last year after Smith accepted a job as an assistant professor at USF’s College of Education. They heard the cost of living in Florida was lower. Then they bought a house.
“We have a smaller house and pay more taxes,” said Caris, who said their property taxes on a larger home in New York stayed at about $5,500 a year. “The taxes increased gradually, while in Florida, every time the house is sold, it goes up significantly.”
Between last year and this year, the tax bill on their Tampa Palms home nearly doubled to $6,300.
Caris was shocked to see neighbors in a similar home pay $2,500.
“We get the same benefits. Why would we need to pay so much more?” Caris said. “I don’t see what the goal for Florida is. Why do they give a higher burden to newcomers? Maybe they want to chase them away. I definitely think they should do something about it.”
Welcome to the "Greed State", Mr. Caris. Believe me, I care about the issue, but the vast majority of people in this state do not. Another recent immigrant, John Sarver, has the same tale.
"The civilian strategic planner at U.S. Central Command moved to Brandon late last year from Colorado Springs. That recent arrival earned him the not-so-enviable position on the block as the man with the highest property tax bill.
He’ll pay almost $9,000 this year in property taxes. That’s more than he paid for both property taxes and state income taxes in Colorado. Most of his neighbors pay a third or half of that, even though their homes are about the same size as his – or larger.
“I look across the street,” said Sarver, who bought his home for $475,000 at the height of the market late last year. “I know my neighbors have enjoyed all this equity they’ve gained from ’03 to ’05, but I feel like I subsidize their property.”
Let's face it - Pandora's box has been opened, and nobody can close it. People who've lived here for 3 or more years are paying next to nothing, and every new homebuyer since then is subsidizing their lifestyle. Because of this, outside investors won't invest and persons considering a move here won't. I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it until everyone understands:
If you buy now in Florida, you'll pay more in taxes than the majority of wealthier homeowners in this state. And until they move or die, you always will.
Do you think this will help or hinder the real estate values? Ken Wilkinson must be very proud of himself.