Florida Property Taxes

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 60  |   Posted date : May 30, 2007.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk:

I’m a Canadian snowbird that owns a condo in the Broward County (Pompano Beach) in Florida. My property taxes, and those of other snowbirds, Canadian or Americans, will go up from 19% to 53% while that of the Homesteaders will not rise above 3% while having always enjoyed an ongoing rate of 75% less than northern folks.

I find this discriminating on the part of Broward County since we (snowbirds) spend as much if not more in the 3 to 6 months that are there than locals spend year round. May I add that in the property taxes we pay for services that are not rendered to us, such as public schools, North Broward Hospital, etc. etc.

Mr. Sidney Margles this week wrote a very appropriate letter to the editor of the Montreal Gazette which I would like to share with you: He states as follows...

"Taxation without representation is alive and well in Broward County, Fla. where ‘seasonal’ property owners are expected to be hammered next month.

Significantly higher property valuations have been declared by the county assessor. Unless the tax rate is reduced by local county authorities, which is highly unlikely, a tax increase of up to 53% is expected.

The source of the problem is the Florida State Homesteaders exemption, which caps any real estate tax hike to three (3%) per annum. To make up for the shortfall, northerners who own vacation property in Florida pay more than their share.

As non-homesteaders cannot vote in Florida, local politicians can virtually do as they please. They say we can appeal by showing up at public hearings in September, but such a trip would cost an individual more than the potential tax saving.

For those readers that have condos in South Florida, I would urge them to write to their local and county commissioners. The alternative is to spend less in tourist-driven Florida.”

As a Florida property owner I agree totally with Mr. Margles I encourage all members of the Canadian Snowbird Association to write to their local and County commissioner and voice their concerns.

Frank Iacovella

Response:
Good advice, Frank. We have addressed this issue with Governor Jeb Bush himself and he has empowered a sub-committee to research this issue as it applies to the entire state of Florida. Unfortunately, our lack of representation doesn’t give us the voting power to change the law and your neighbors are unlikely to vote for a property tax decrease for you at their expense. Not a lot of room to move here. In the meantime, let’s put some pressure on the local council; we have listed below the names of the County Commissioners for Broward County and their contact information:

Back to list | More articles