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Tax swap poses tough math problem for Legislature

Amendment 5, the major constitutional ''tax swap'' on the November ballot that would replace school property taxes with other revenues, poses one of the biggest math problems the Florida Legislature will ever have to solve.

If the amendment passes, the numbers will be tough to work out, due to the Legislature's cloudy fiscal track record and some vague wording in the measure itself.

The amendment calls for the complete elimination of the state-set property tax for schools -- 25 percent of the average property-owner's tax bill. To replace the lost money, the amendment says, legislators would have to increase the sales tax by a penny, eliminate some sales-tax exemptions, levy new taxes or even cut the budget.

How much tax revenue will they have to replace? Maybe $9.3 billion. Maybe $11 billion. No one's quite sure. Though the amendment demands that the Legislature make up the lost education money, it's unclear how to figure the amount, according to state economists.

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Kellie Selwood

Weren't our property taxes supposed to go DOWN this year. We received an additional $25,000 homestead exemption, but I received my tax notice from the Property Appraiser today and the property taxes on my house are going up nearly $1,000. My parents property taxes are due to go up $700 and that is only "if" the proposed increases are not approved. How can we have received an additional $25,000 homestead exemption and see an increase of 16-30%? I'm confused.


Yes, the County Property Appraiser is playing tricks, all assessed values increased 3% even though the house market is DOWN DOWN DOWN, and the taxable value is also UP UP to get more tax, more money!!!.


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