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Florida House committee takes up several property tax bills

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(The Center Square) — Several bills related to property taxes and homestead exemptions were taken up this week by the Florida House’s Ways & Means Committee.

House Joint Resolution 53, is sponsored by Rep. Allison Tant, D-Tallahassee, and proposes an amendment to the state Constitution that would authorize the Legislature to provide property tax exemption to surviving spouses of quadriplegics — if they had been receiving an exemption on real estate used and owned as a homestead at the time of their spouse’s death.

Tant also sponsored House Bill 55, an identical companion bill to HJR 53, which successfully passed through committee on Monday. The resolution is now with the Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee, while HB 55 had its first reading in the House on Tuesday.

HB 689 which is sponsored by Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs, was reported favorably, and if passed into law, would allow an ad valorem tax exemption for nonprofit organizations who provide housing for Florida’s aged residents. Smith stated that the bill would make it easier to build low-income housing for seniors and noted that it would have virtually no fiscal impact on the state.

House Memorial 143, filed by Rep. Tyler Sirois, R-Merritt Island, is a memorial resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to add spaceports as a qualified tax-exempt category of private activity bonds since they are currently not qualified to receive this kind of funding.

PABs are issued by local and state governments to finance private or non-government projects that have a public utility, according to the memorial’s analysis. This includes airports, docks and wharves, mass commuting facilities, solid waste disposal, sewage, and qualified public educational facilities.

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