The Real Deal Miami

Florida caught in property tax trap

December 05, 2008 11:29AM

There’s a national property tax rise, and Florida is among the states
where rates are rising despite the greatest drop in property values
since the Great Depression. Home values dropped 17 percent in the third
quarter compared with the same period in 2007, according to the
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. At the same time, property tax
collections across the country rose 3.1 percent, according to the
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Most
states cap how fast taxes rise in boom times. In bad times, the same
laws keep taxes from falling and even permit modest increases on most
homes. Taxes work that way in Florida, Arizona, California and Nevada
— the four states hit hardest when overheated real estate markets
crashed and triggered waves of foreclosures.