Two related measures in the Florida Legislature that were filed aim to eliminate a provision that grants property owners with a homestead tax exemption from school district property tax levies.
A homestead exemption is a means of reducing property taxes for homeowners. Generally, it is a legal provision available in many states to protect surviving spouses from creditors and bankruptcy. However, it does not prevent foreclosure if the homeowner defaults on their mortgage.
Homeowners eligible for an exemption can enjoy a property tax reduction of up to $50,000 on their property’s value. Presently, Florida law allocates the first $25,000 toward all property taxes, including school district tax levies. However, the proposed new law would exclude school district levies.
School district tax rates are typically set at $1 per $1,000 of a property’s value. For instance, a $200,000 home would incur a school district tax of approximately $200. This tax can be increased with the approval of voters.
On September 20, House Joint Resolution 69 (HJR 69) was filed alongside House Bill 71 (HB 71), with Rep. Alina Garcia, R-Miami, sponsoring both bills. These proposed measures have been referred to the Ways & Means Committee.