Homestead Exemption amendment reviewed

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By Jeff M. Hardison

BRONSON - Levy County Property Appraiser Francis Akins recently provided the first of four informational releases to explain a ballot question set for the Jan. 29 election.

Akins told the Chiefland Rotary Club on Dec. 19 that based on an average of 18 mills, a home valued at or above $75,000 would generate about $188.50 in savings if this proposed revision to the Florida Constitution is approved by voters.

Akins performed more calculations to show actual savings at current millages for various parts of Levy County for the increased Homestead Exemption amendment.

The revision increases Homestead Exemption by $25,000 on property with an assessed taxable value greater than $50,000 and up to $75,000, except for the millage rate levied by the School Board.

Under this bill, if 60 percent or more of the voters approve it, Homestead properties are exempt from ad valorem property tax on the first $25,000 of appraised taxable property value - just as they are now. Appraised taxable property from the range of $25,000 to $50,000 is taxed. Property with an appraised taxable value of $50,000 to $75,000 is exempt from tax millage other than the millage imposed by the School Board.

Akins created the following scale to show the maximum additional savings by taxpayers in each Levy County community:

* Unincorporated Levy County in the Suwannee River Water Management District -- $196.

* Unincorporated Levy County in the Southwest Florida Water Management District -- $201.

* Bronson -- $277.

* Chiefland -- $315.

* Cedar Key -- $291.

* Cedar Key Special Water and Sewer District -- $213.

* Fanning Springs -- $247.

* Inglis -- $313.

* Otter Creek -- $265.

* Williston -- $338.

* Yankeetown $233.

* Rainbow Lakes $228.

The property appraiser said his next three sets of information will relate to portability of the Save Our Homes benefit, the non-Homestead 10 percent CAP, and the $25,000 tangible personal property tax exemption, which all may become law if 60 percent or more Florida voters choose this option on Jan. 29.

Akins said these explanations do not show the impact of the loss of this revenue to the government. They are merely provided as a public service to help voters understand when they vote "Yes" or "No" on this revision of the state constitution.

Akins invites readers who need more information to call his office at (352) 486-5222.