FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug 20, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida takes a None of the Above position on the following Amendments appearing on the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election:

Amendment 1 – Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption – Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.

Amendment 2 – Limitations on Property Tax Assessments – Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified nonhomestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

II. ELECTIONS

2. We support the addition of the alternative “None of the above is acceptable” to all ballots. We further propose that in the event that “None of the above is acceptable” receives a plurality of votes in any election, a new election shall be held for which none of the losing candidates shall be eligible. Other forms of voting should also be considered, such as instant runoff voting or proportional representation.

VI. TAXES
2. Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.
3. The personal property tax on Florida businesses should be repealed.

Discussion

Any chance to cut taxes is a great one. The Libertarian Party of Florida certainly applauds each and every one that comes along. But it is our position these two Amendments take the wrong approach to tax reduction and at best, offer residents and business owners only a brief break from the burden of taxes.

These amendments perpetuate the idea that “By cutting property value, we’ll somehow pay less in taxes.” History has shown otherwise. These Amendments, placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature, represent a finger in the paper-thin dike between us, the taxpayers, and them, the officials who keep raising our taxes and fees. Plug one hole, they’ll find another. Or make new ones.

Since 1934, Florida taxpayers have tried to plug those holes in government spending by increasing property exemptions every few years. Although the 1992 “Save Our Homes” Amendment capped annual property value increases, the burden of “full taxes” simply shifted to new home buyers and business owners. In 2008, we saw “Portability” which allows property owners move their exemptions with them to new homes and adding a 10% new cap to increases of non-homesteaded taxed property values.

Yet research by Florida TaxWatch, universities and news media show, these routine plugs provide only temporary relief to the government hunger for taxation. The growth of taxes and fees for government services routinely outpaces personal income and inflation. Most cities “raise the tax rate” regularly. When property taxes themselves aren’t raised, “special districts” are invented to charge new fees for drainage, roads and other facilities.

It’s all money taken out of our wallets, whether you call it a “tax” or a “fee.” As a result, it costs more and more to live and conduct business in Florida. Whatever voters choose on these Amendments in November will have little impact on that growth.

It is the position of the Libertarian Party of Florida that we should focus our efforts on cutting government spending and taxation rather than playing games with property value. Only with responsible spending will that burden ease.

  • By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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