Sunday, May 06, 2007


PROPERTY TAX – “where it is” on 5-4-07

The Florida Legislature suspended negotiations on Save Our Homes portability, rollbacks and other property tax reform proposals until next month when lawmakers return to Tallahassee for a 10-day special session from June 12-June 22. Both sides have already agreed on two FAR-supported tax relief measures - $25,000 exemption on personal intangible property for small businesses and some form of Save Our Homes portability (terms not released). Sources say that so far there is agreement on cutting property taxes by about $20-$25-billion over 5 years; no sales tax increase; some form of Save our Homes portability.

To write your legislator send an email to - see Legislative Center.

Legislators made it easier for certain property owners to get insurance from Citizens which is now Florida’s largest insurer with 1.3 million policyholders. Property owners will be allowed into the Citizens pool if the only insurance they could obtain on the private market was 15% more expensive than what they would pay Citizens. Citizens rates would freeze through 2008. On Jan 1, 2009, Citizens would again be allowed to raise rates.

Homes valued at over $750,000 and located in high-risk zones will be required to install opening protections as of July 1, 2008 if they seek a building permit for work estimated at $50,000 or more. By 1/1/2009, all homes valued at over $750,000 in high-risk zones must be fitted wit opening protections to remain eligible for Citizens coverage. This is to help reduce some of the risk in the event of a devastating storm. Free inspections of 400,000 single-family homes is called for and grants and loan are provided to certain homeowners to make improvements to strengthen their home against storms.

Home inspectors, mold remediators and mold assessors will be required to be licensed by the Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation as of July 1, 2010 IF SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.

Landlords are limited to a financial penalty when a tenant breaks a lease of two months of rent for leases of less than a year. Effective at once IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS IT.

Mortgage brokers and lenders will now have many disclosure and education requirements to help protect consumers during the mortgage loan application process. This bill includes additional enforcement and investigative tools for prosecuting mortgage fraud. The definition of “primary title services” and “related title services” will be amended and a civil court case codified that permits a portion of a title insurance premium to be rebated IF SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.

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