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SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES PROPERTY ASSESSMENT LIMITATION

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Supreme court ruled Thursday that the cap required by a constitutional amendment limiting the assessed value of homestead property will take effect Jan. 1, 1995.
 The court's 7-0 decision means that the Department of Revenue and county property appraisers can continue correcting inequities in tax rolls before the limit takes effect.
 "Whether they realize it or not, this decision is a victory for the taxpayers of Florida that will provide more fairness and equity in property taxation," said Executive Director Larry Fuchs. "It will give us the time to remove some inequities that would have been frozen in place forever if the cap had taken effect this year."
 Florida voters approved Amendment 10, also known as "Save Our Homes," in November 1992. It limits the annual increase in the assessed value of homestead property to 3 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.
 The court challenge arose last January when a circuit judge was asked to rule that the cap take effect immediately. The judge agreed and the department appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which on Thursday agreed that the amendment clearly requires the limit to begin Jan. 1, 1995.
 "We support the implementation of Amendment 10," Fuchs said. "The voters have spoken. The department's charge is to ensure that the amendment is implemented in an orderly and equitable manner."
 The department reviews county property tax rolls for half of Florida's 67 counties each year. The 1993 Legislature approved new methods that have allowed for more accurate and equitable assessments in the past year. Those methods can now be used in assessing property rolls for the remaining counties before the assessment cap kicks in.
 Fuchs also pointed out that Amendment 10 involves local taxes administered by county and city governments, not the state. The cap is on property assessments, not tax rates. City and county governments determine the tax rate for property assessments.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Donna O'Neal of the State of Florida Department of Revenue, 904-487-2426/


CO: Florida Department of Revenue ST: Florida IN: SU: LEG

DP-AW -- FL015 -- 1898 01/13/94 16:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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