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Governor's panel to study inequities in property taxes

Published July 20, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush appointed a 15-member committee Wednesday to make recommendations on how to curtail increases and remove inequities in Florida's property taxes.

The panel is intended to serve as a bridge between a Department of Revenue study of the same issues ordered by the Legislature and the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission that will meet for the first time in 2007 as required by the Florida Constitution.

Bush's panel will focus on property tax revenue increases that have exceeded the rate of personal income growth and unequal tax burdens created by the Save Our Homes Amendment voters added to the Constitution in 1992.

Save Our Homes limits tax increases on homesteads - homes lived in by their owners - to 3 percent annually or the growth in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. That has shifted more of the tax burden to owners of newly purchased homes, second homes and businesses.

Retired Jim Walter Homes president and chief executive Don DeFosset of Tampa will chair the committee, which initially will meet no later than Aug. 15. It is to present final recommendations in late 2007.

Members also include Robert Turner, Hillsborough County's property tax appraiser.

[Last modified July 20, 2006, 01:00:06]

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