Florida State Tax Discrimination – The Final Word

Winter 2007 CSANews Issue 65  |   Posted date : May 22, 2008.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,
Florida State Tax Discrimination – The Final Word

The printing of the letter from the Office of Citizens Services and your own introductory paragraph stating that governor Crist had actually done something for part-time residents, and will do more, is to enter the world of "make believe." Please read "Governor Crist Proposes Property Tax Reform Plan – April 26, 2007."

In a previous issue, the RetirementAction.com group gave us chapter and verse of the discrimination in Florida tax legislation against part-time residents of the state. No doubt, they will track the outcome of anything positive.

To blame the current situation on overspending municipal governments is fiction. The reason for the difference in realty taxes is the precise purpose of their own state legislation, which calls for the subsidization of permanent residents' – homesteaders' – realty tax costs at the expense of part-time residents. An example in one location has a part-time resident paying $3,605 and the homesteader living across the street paying $558. Check your own tax rolls for your local examples.

Another instance of this purposeful bias is the annual state sales tax holiday for one or two days each year, which is always held in the summer when seasonal residents are not there. Another bias is our inability in some areas to participate in free replacement tree programmes, as we are not resident during the entire period of their planting guidelines.

In summary, if you want to be a seasonal resident of Florida, then you have to be prepared to pay their price. However, it is really nice to know that we are assisting Florida homesteaders such as O.J. Simpson to enjoy the lifestyle that they richly deserve in their declining years.

The only time anything significant will be done about this situation will be when the number of people leaving Florida far exceeds the number entering the state.

Have a great winter everyone!

David Dillon

Response :
We are as skeptical as you are, Mr. Dillon. The Florida state tax system is broken, in our opinion, and we are already starting to see snowbirds making other choices. It appears that things will get worse with the “portability” provision under consideration. This seems to imply that if you own a trailer and pay $300 in state taxes, then you can move to a million-dollar mansion and still pay $300. You must be a full-time resident, of course. We need a lot more help from our American snowbird friends, who are in the same boat, to help resolve this mess.

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