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Facts About Amendment 1

Amendment 1 is expected to save taxpayers about $9 billion in the next five years. Here’s how:

• Double the homestead exemption for 94 percent of homestead property owners. The current $25,000 homestead exemption remains; but a second $25,000 exemption is added for home-value between $50,000 and $75,000. The second $25,000 exemption does not apply to school taxes, however. The portion of home-value between $25,000 and $50,000 will still be taxed at all levels. Homestead owners will save about $240 a year. FAR fought to include this taxable portion to maintain fairness for smaller cities and counties with lower median home values.

• Portability. Allow owners of homestead property to transfer up to $500,000 in accumulated Save Our Homes benefits, including school taxes, to a new home. If buying a more expensive home, a homesteader calculates savings by subtracting the assessed value (taxable value) from the just value (market value). The amount (savings over time) is then subtracted from the just value on the new home. In most cases, the $50,000 homestead exemption will also be subtracted.

If buying a less expensive home, the calculation changes and is based on the percentage of tax savings rather than a dollar amount. If the assessed value of the original home was 50 percent of the just value, for example, the homesteader would transfer that percentage to the new home, or have a new assessed value that is 50 percent of the new home’s just value.

Portability is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007—good news for customers who upsized or downsized last year.

• Impose a 10 percent assessment cap on nonhomestead property for the next 10 years. The cap does not apply to school taxes. After 10 years, voters will have the option to restore the 10 percent cap.

• Allow businesses to exempt the first $25,000 of the taxes they pay on computers, office equipment and other tangible personal property.

For more information, go to floridarealtors.org and search on “Amendment 1.”