9 Actions Florida Should Take to Help Taxpayers Impacted by Hurricane Ian

1.     Postpone tax notices and waive penalties or interest for late tax filings in affected areas

2.     Extend the date for residents to take advantage of the tax discounts they would normally receive for paying property taxes and special assessments in November and postpone or defer the deadline for property tax installment payments

3.     Protect individual and business taxpayers from the risks for notices that they will likely not receive because their home or business addresses is not accessible anymore

4.     Issue no new audits in severely impacted areas, extend the statute of limitations and postpone existing audits that haven’t reached the assessment stage because these can’t be responded to while entire communities are still recovering

5.     Create procedures for fairly estimating taxes which can’t be calculated because records have been destroyed by the storm, moving away from the current method which significantly overestimates activity if no records are available

6.     Initiate procedures to offer payment plan assistance for late taxes, rather than resorting to the standard collection methods, like liens, levies, or bank freezes

7.     Retroactively apply the recently passed law that provides property tax refunds for residential property rendered uninhabitable as a result of a catastrophic event

8.     Provide tangible personal property relief and allow n on-residential properties rendered uninhabitable to receive property tax refunds

9.     Get Congress to pass a Disaster Tax Relief Act that includes provisions from past packages, including elements such as an Employee Retention Credit, an enhanced casualty loss deduction, and other relief provisions

Other Resources

Florida TaxWatch Statement on Hurricane Ian Recovery

Community Involvement

A Comprehensive Guide to Florida's 2022 Constitutional Amendments

On November 8, 2022, Floridians will vote on three legislatively referred proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. At least 60 percent of the voters must vote in the affirmative for a proposed amendment to pass. This Florida TaxWatch Voter Guide is designed to provide Florida voters with information about each of the proposed amendments to help them cast well-informed votes.

Proposed constitutional amendment Number 1 would authorize the legislature to prohibit local governments from taking flood resistance improvements into account when calculating a property's assessed value for property tax purposes. Proposed constitutional amendment Number 2 would abolish the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. Proposed constitutional amendment Number 3 would authorize the legislature to grant an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000 for specified critical front-line public employees. All three proposed amendments have been placed on the November ballot by joint resolutions of the Florida Legislature.

For each proposed amendment, this Voter Guide provides the following information:

  • The title of the proposed amendment as it will appear on the November 8, 2022 ballot;
  • How the proposed amendment came to be placed on the November 8, 2022 ballot;
  • The specific section or sections of the Constitution that are being amended;
  • A summary of the proposed amendment, including the practical effects of a “yes” vote or a “no” vote;
  • A summary of the arguments for and against the proposed amendment;
  • A detailed and thorough analysis of the proposed amendment;
  • The fiscal impact of the proposed amendment;
  • Florida TaxWatch’s conclusion, based upon the analysis and fiscal impacts of the proposed amendment; and
  • A recommendation by Florida TaxWatch.

Florida TaxWatch believes the contents of the Florida Constitution should be limited to matters that are essential or fundamental. A proposed amendment may very well be a good idea, but voters must ask themselves “does it belong in the constitution, or should it be adopted as a Florida statute?” The constitution loses much of its significance as the foundation of government when the process of constitutional amendment is used as a substitute for legislation.

Once incorporated, it is extremely difficult to remove what is essentially a statutory provision from the constitution. The only option is to amend the constitution, which requires a 60 percent supermajority approval by Florida voters. The briefer and more concise the constitution, the more likely it is to be read and, more importantly, understood by the taxpayer.

For your convenience, Florida TaxWatch has included a page to take notes on the various amendments to take with you to the ballot boxes (see page 13). Download the file below.

Documents to download

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