Florida’s Amendment 2 would keep the 10% cap on annual property tax

By Anthony SanFilippo

Florida voters have the opportunity to protect themselves from potential excessive property taxes by voting in favor of Amendment 2 in November.

Amendment 2 will be on the ballot and will offer Floridians a chance to keep the current 10 percent cap on annual property tax increases on non-homestead properties in perpetuity. In order to pass a constitutional amendment in Florida, 60 percent of the voters need to vote yes.

The 10 percent cap was put in place in 2008 via a constitutional amendment after many non-homestead properties, which includes vacation rental properties, businesses, second homes, or vacant land, were frequently taxed at increases between 30 and 50 percent year-over-year.

However, the way the amendment was written, that 10 percent cap is set to expire at the end of 2018, unless Amendment 2 is passed by voters in the General Election.

“Amendment 2 protects renters from unaffordable rent increases that would occur if landlords were to get hit with uncapped property tax assessments.”

In the past decade, not only has the cap protected homeowners from the threat of large tax hikes, but it helped communities flourish by ensuring that Florida remained an affordable place to live, work and do business.

Homestead properties – the primary residence for a property owner – has a cap of three percent annually.

Capping property tax increases is a benefit for homeowners, but also many others in Florida:

  • Amendment 2 protects renters from unaffordable rent increases that would occur if landlords were to get hit with uncapped property tax assessments. When there is stable rent, it provides renters with more financial security, and allows them to contribute more to their community, which is a win/win scenario for everyone.
  • Amendment 2 also helps local businesses continue to thrive and succeed. These small businesses are critical to the economic success of Florida. Amendment 2 preserves their protection from large tax increases and allows them to succeed within their communities by keeping prices low on the goods and services they provide.
  • First responders are the bedrock of a safe and vibrant community and must be protected. Amendment 2 would ensure that funding for necessary emergency services would not be impacted.
  • Importantly, Amendment 2 does not apply to funds that schools receive from property taxes. This means that the tax cap can continue to help communities without impacting the ability of teachers and schools to provide quality education to Florida’s children.

Bipartisan Support

Just to get on the ballot for Floridians to vote, Amendment 2 needed strong, bipartisan support in the Florida legislature. Every state senator and 97% of the state representatives supported it.

It is also important to note that Amendment 2 is neither a tax cut nor a tax increase. What it does is prevent taxes from skyrocketing, hurting the economy and making rents too expensive. Simply put, Amendment 2 keeps a cap — one which is already in place — on how much local governments can increase certain property taxes every year.

How the Amendment 2 Outcome Affects You

If Amendment 2 doesn’t pass and the 10% cap isn’t renewed everyone in Florida will be affected. Certain property taxes could increase by unlimited amounts every year. People who own a vacation rental, business or property other than a primary home could see their property taxes greatly increase. Much like pre-2008 Florida, local and family-run businesses could see their property taxes increase by 30%, 50%, or even higher — which could prove devastating to a small business. Additionally, landlords would likely pass their increased taxes on to their tenants, and without a cap on those taxes, rents would skyrocket.

By passing Amendment 2, all Floridians can be protected from dramatic tax increases and the higher prices they bring with them.

There’s a reason Amendment 2 has overwhelming support from local community leaders, chambers of commerce and trade organizations – including the Florida Association of REALTORS®; It’s a can’t lose proposition that will help Florida for generations to come.

Read the Full Text of the Amendment


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