A bill to raise property taxes in Florida has been approved by a state senate committee, but it could increase property taxes for the entire state.
The senate approved a bill on Thursday which would raise the annual property tax rate from 5% to 7%.
The bill will now go to the full state senate for approval.
The Florida House approved the same bill in February, but the Senate committee has already taken a closer look.
“We are in the process of finalizing it.
The bill is a product of the committee, and we are taking it through its review process,” State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D), the bill’s sponsor, told The Hindu.
“This is the first bill to pass the senate, and it will be the first to go to governor.
It’s not a done deal yet, but I hope that we have a good chance of passing it.”
De Leon said the bill is expected to be approved by the full senate this week, and if it is, it will go to Governor Rick Scott for his signature.
Florida’s property tax base has been growing since 2000 when the state enacted the state’s first property tax.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, property tax collections in 2016 were $3.4 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion from the previous year.
Property taxes were not the only thing contributing to the state budget’s growth.
According in the same report, the number of nonresident residents increased by 8.6 percent in 2016, while the number who had an income of more than $75,000 increased by 10.6%.
De Leon pointed to the impact of Florida’s recent hurricanes on property tax revenue.
“With hurricanes and the wildfires, we’ve had a large increase in property taxes, and this is something we’ve been paying for since the beginning of the decade,” he said.
De Leon is not the first Republican to support property taxes raising in Florida.
In February, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-Coral Gables) proposed the state raise property tax rates to 5% for residents who have annual income of $75 or more.
Brandes, who has called property taxes a “virus,” also proposed an increase in the property tax on the home of someone who has paid property taxes since 2009.
“If you’re someone that doesn’t have a home, you can’t afford to pay the property taxes,” Brandes said.
“So, if you’re an individual that has $1 million and pays the property, that’s a big chunk of your annual income.”
De Lago’s bill would raise property and income taxes in addition to property taxes.
According, the bill would increase the property and personal income tax rates by $1,000 for a family of four, $2,000 a family with two children and $2 for a single person.
De Lagos bill has already passed both houses of the state senate.
However, it is not clear if it will reach Governor Scott’s desk.
Florida property taxes were last raised in 2017 when the property-tax increase was 5%.