With a nudge from Gov. Charlie Crist, the great Florida property tax debate is back on.
Proposed property tax cuts, approved late Friday with little fanfare, hold big savings for businesses and first-time home buyers while creating new winners and losers. But this time there is some unusual opposition: the business community.
''It's a big mistake. This is a band-aid to a broken property tax system,'' said Bill Coleman, a commercial tax expert in Orlando who traveled to the Capitol last month to argue against the plan.
The proposal, which will go before voters in November 2010, calls for a new homestead exemption for first-time home buyers and reduces an existing assessment cap for nonhomestead property.
Together, they could save property owners about $570 million over three years, according to estimates from state economists. (story here)