Some are calling it the biggest tax reduction in Florida history, but it might better be described as the most confusing. After almost a year of documenting the flaws of Florida's "Save our Homes" property tax break for homeowners (which include its complexity and unfairness), the state legislature this week ratified a plan that will provide a replacement homeowner tax break known as the "super exemption." This new exemption will shelter up to 75% of the first $200,000 of a home's value (and up to $195,000 of value for wealthier homeowners) from property taxes. The catch: homeowners who decide they prefer the old Save Our Homes break can keep it. But they'd better think carefully: if a homeowner decides to claim the new homestead exemption, they can never again file under the old system.
Because Florida's property tax breaks are enshrined in the state constitution, this proposal must go before Florida voters; a January 2008 vote is set.