Crist disbands Bush's property tax reform panel
Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
Published February 7 , 2007
-- Gov. Charlie Crist has disbanded former Gov. Jeb Bush's Property Tax
Reform Committee, an aide informed members in a letter released Wednesday.
Christian Weiss, the governor's policy coordinator, wrote to the committee
members thanking them on behalf of Crist for their work, including a
preliminary report that outlined tax reform options. The committee was not
due to make recommendations until later this year.
Crist last week offered his own property tax reform recommendations to the
Florida Legislature without waiting for the committee created by his
predecessor to finish its work.
Weiss wrote that Crist had promised property tax relief in his campaign
last year ``and therefore cannot wait to benefit from the findings of this
committee next December.''
Crist has proposed that tax reform changes to the Florida Constitution be
sent to the voters at a special election this year so they can be
implemented sooner. Waiting until next year's regular election would delay
any tax relief until 2009.
Crist wants to allow local governments to double the tax exemption given
to homeowners from $25,000 to $50,000 and let them take tax cap benefits
-- a 3 percent per year limit -- with them if they move.
The governor also wants to put a similar cap on taxes paid for business
and rental properties and exempt small businesses tax on such personal
property as machinery and equipment.
The Legislature, meanwhile, has begun a series of town hall meetings
across the state that will continue through the end of February to obtain
comments from citizens and local officials before taking any action.