Property tax cut plan disappoints Clearwater landlord

10/31/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Yesterday, while campaigning for property tax relief in Tallahassee, Charlie Crist shared the spotlight with a landlord Steven Profitt.

Profitt said he liked the doubling of the homestead exemption, and the 10-percent cap on commercial and non-homesteaded property. But he also admitted the plan would only bring him modest savings.

During discussions in the House last week, legislators flirted with putting a cap on a property tax increase to non-homesteaded properties as low as 3 percent, which is what the limit has been on homesteaded properties since the mid 1990’s.

Caps of 5 percent and 7 percent were also discussed, but the final bill puts that cap at 10 percent.

Clearwater landlord Marty Altner, who has been a vocal critic of how the Legislature has ignored the property tax situation affecting landlords and small business owners like himself, said there are items in the new legislation that are praiseworthy, but overall, he’s still not happy with the proposal.

And Altner says the process the legislature used to come up with its new plan was a classic case of non-Democracy in action in Florida.

Alter believes that the House members, up for re-election every two years, are simply more in touch with their constituents than their counterparts in the Senate.

In an editorial today, the Tampa Tribune essentially agreed with Altner’s version, writing that the plan proposed by the House never had a chance. The editorial went on to say: “The Senate offered its own version, and like a bully, refused to negotiate. Unfortunately, the House leadership - if you can call it that – rolled over.”

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