Neuhoff’s proposed property tax hike may violate Florida constitution

A Palm Beach County Commission candidate hopes to garner support through a proposed property tax hike on pricey real estate, according to the Palm Beach Post. Inspired by President Barack Obama’s call for increased taxes on the top 2 percent, Democratic candidate Rick Neuhoff is campaigning for progressive taxation on South Florida property. Identifying himself with the president could be a smart move in the Democrat heavy south county commission district, but his proposal may not meet constitutional muster.

Article VII, Section 2 of Florida’s constitution states that all value based real estate taxation “shall be at a uniform rate,” which seems to rule out progressive taxation on Florida homes. Neuhoff claims that he hasn’t researched the constitutionality of his platform, arguing instead that he is attempting to implement the president’s leadership on a local level.

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“If we take a look at President Obama’s leadership and we see that he has been calling to tax the top 2 percent, to have them pay their fair share, this similar thing can happen here in the county by looking at millage rates for specific properties – perhaps the top 2 percent of those properties.” [Palm Beach Post]