Lee County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson wants Florida’s “Save Our Homes law” to become portable. He traveled to Orlando yesterday to present his plan to a state tax reform committee.
Save our homes caps tax increases on primary homes to 3-percent a year. It’s been lauded since its inception by homeowners statewide…but there’s a catch. Longtime residents face huge tax increases if they move elsewhere in Florida…because its savings aren’t portable. Wilkinson wrote the original Save Our Homes amendment back in the early 90’s…
“Because in my opinion the legislature wasn’t moving in the right direction a group of citizens in Lee County and around the state put together a constitutional amendment…we were able to get it on the ballot. That is what Save Our Home is…now I’m faced with the same situation.”
Lawmakers proposed several bills during the last legislative session that provide portability - but none passed. Wilkinson’s plan would allow homeowners to take some of their savings to another home in Florida. His group needs about 650-thousand signatures to put the idea before voters in 2008.
Lee County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson wants the tax benefit of Save Our Homes to become portable. He’s formed a non-profit corporation to focus support on the issue…and to gather signatures to get an amendment on the 2008 ballot. Wilkinson wrote the Original Save Our Homes amendment – passed by Floridians in 1992. It caps property tax increases on primary residences to 3 percent a year.
He says the problem is -- as property values increase some long time residents are becoming trapped in their homes… because if they move to another house they could face huge tax increases.
“Save Our Homes did some phenomenal things – beyond our expectations. It allows you to stay in your house. But because it’s been so successful some people, many people are finding that they are locked in. See what we’re trying to do? Give the homeowner the flexibility.”
Wilkinson’s idea would work this way: If your home has a MARKET value of 400-thousand, but is being assessed by the county at only 200-thousand, thanks to Save Our Homes…your current savings is 50-percent. So if you then sold your home and bought another one for 600-thousand…the new assessment would be half that …or 300-thousand. The group needs about 650-thousand signatures to get the amendment on the ballot in 2008.
Thursday, 21 September 2006 01:00
Save Our HomesWritten by WGCU Newsroom