Gov. Charlie Crist’s claim of biggest tax cut doesn’t add up

Lengthy article about Charlie’s tax cutting claims- fortuantly Aaron Sharockman of St Petes Times not only explored this a bit in dept, he’s written a summary- below.

“The Crist-led changes to Florida’s property tax structure certainly required the lowering of tax rates and assessment values throughout Florida. But there are all kinds of holes in projecting the size and scope of the legislation’s impact.

• The basis for the governor’s estimate assumed a future that did not come to pass. Specifically, the governor’s estimates relied on future property values continuing to increase and local governments failing to lower their property tax rate. We now know property values are decreasing.

• The governor’s office acknowledges its projections are now inaccurate because of declines in property values statewide.

• A state analysis concluded that the tax measures have failed to produce the savings estimated by the governor. Portability, for instance, was predicted to cut taxable property values by $11.5 billion in 2008. But it cut property values only $3.4 billion, the analysis showed.

Here’s the bottom line: While the tax structure changes passed by the Legislature, signed by Crist and approved by voters undoubtedly will result in less property taxes being paid by Florida residents, the specific financial impact of the initiatives remains quite unclear. Experts say projections can be misleading.

But given the decline in home values, we know Crist will have difficulty reaching his claim of $25 billion over five years.

In the absence of additional data, and with the knowledge that Save Our Homes has cut property tax bills for Florida residents $32 billion or more, we can’t agree with Crist that the 2007 and 2008 changes constitute the largest tax cut in state history.

We rule Crist’s statement False.”

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