Every year, thousands of unsuspecting homeowners recieve a tax bill in the mail that adds insult to injury. Florida’s home values were hit especially hard during the recession, sometimes dropping by as much as 40 percent or more. At the same time, some Florida homeowners’ property taxes actually INCREASED, thereby placing an unfair burden upon working families who were already struggling during a difficult economy.
It’s called “Recapture”. And the problem is as simple as the solution.
Recapture is an unfair tax practice that allows the taxable value of your home to increase, even as the value of your property decreases. For example, let’s say you’ve owned a home for 10 years that is valued at $150,000 today. Because of the recent “Save Our Homes” initiative, your home’s assessed value could only increase by up to 3% per year. This slowed increase, combined with your homestead exemptions, has brought your home’s assessed value down to $75,000. That’s the amount for which you pay property taxes.
But what if your home’s actual value has gone down to, say, $125,000 this year? That is still above your assessed value, so your assessed value (and your tax bill) can still increase by up to 3%…even though the value of your home has dropped by $25,000.
Amendment 4 can help by giving the Legislature the authority to prevent Florida homeowners from experiencing unfair property tax increases if the values of their homes have gone down.
Has ”Recapture” happened to you? In a struggling economy that has brought home ownership to its lowest level in 15 years, is this the right thing to do? Share your thoughts below.