Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Will Hendry Lose On Tax Amendment?

Hendry County Can Lose A Little...1% Of Income

LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry County Property Appraiser has run some preliminary numbers with the current information available of the cost of the proposed Property Tax Amendment. What the county may lose from the property tax revenues if the Florida Constitutional Amendment passes this month in the special election amounts to a very small percentage of total revenue.

Hendry property taxes represent only 19% of the county's total income, and the possible amount lost from raising the homestead exemption under the proposed Constitutional amendment is only 1% of the county's total revenues.

Hendry County is looking at an approximately $892,000 reduction as a result of Homestead property tax exemption rising from $25,000 to $50,000. (The average homestead homeowner will save only about $240 yearly across the state.)

The total Ad Valorem dollars (property taxes) that will be generated for 2007 for Hendry county is $17,670,397 according to Jennifer Davis, the finance officer for the county commissioner's office.  The $892,000 reduction in tax income, should the Amendment pass, represents 5% of the total property taxes that could be collected.

But comparing the possible revenue loss with the total Hendry county budget income gives a more complete assessment. The total Hendry county budget is $90,867,067, says Davis.  This includes all revenue sources for all items under the Hendry Board of County Commissioners. Therefore, should the amendment pass, the county's loss will only amount to less than 1% of total county income.

So What Are The Benefits And Objections?

It is expected county officials will express opposition to the Amendment citing lost revenue and job cutting.  Those for the Amendment cite saving $240 a year for homestead property owners and the possibility of taking the current homestead savings to a future home, most beneficial to those having already lived in a Homesteaded property for several years. Newly homesteaded property will have no benefit from the proposed Amendment, having built up no substantial savings yet.

Other opponents say "vote against" the amendment to express dissatisfaction with the state politicians including Governor Crist who have failed to provide answers to campaign promises to lower property taxes, cut insurance rates, and provide continued growth of the Florida real estate economy. They say this amendment does nothing to fix that state's real estate problems, and the Legislature must go back and fix the problems with fair tax reform.

The issue is complex.

Link To Hendry Property Appraiser's Amendment Explanation Pages:

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