Saturday, January 27, 2007
Florida's Annual Cap on Increase In Homestead Tax Unconstitutional?
A recent article in the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives discusses a timely real property ad valorem tax issue in Florida. (R.S. Franklin, 16 Journal of Mutistate Taxation and Incentives, No. 10, 8 (February 2007). As is well known to Florida homeowners, the Save Our Homes Amendment ("SOH") to the Florida Constitution caps the increase in annual assessment of homestead properties at the lesser of 3% or the change in CPI. Non-homestead properties, including those owned by out-of-state residents, do not qualify for the SOH cap. Over the approximate 10 years the SOH has been in effect, the law has caused a dramatic disparity or discrimination in taxation among Florida taxpayers for properties of an identical market value. This article discusses whether this discrimination makes SOH vulnerable to an attack under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.