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Proposal would extend non-homestead tax cap

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A 10 percent cap on how much the assessed values of many non-homesteaded properties can go up annually would be back before voters in 2018, under a proposal filed Monday by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon.

Lee's proposal (SJR 76) comes as the cap is scheduled to end in 2019 unless renewed by voters.

The cap was part of a 2008 voter-approved amendment to the longstanding Save Our Homes limit on residential property assessments.

"Failure to pass this joint resolution will result in one of the largest tax increases in the history of our state," Lee said in a prepared statement. "Florida voters will have the ultimate say on the 2018 ballot, but it is the Legislature's responsibility to act in a timely manner so these important provisions don't expire."

If Lee's proposal is approved by the Legislature in 2017, it would go before voters in 2018.

Save Our Homes puts an annual cap of 3 percent on increases in assessed values of homesteaded properties.

The 10 percent cap is applied to second homes, rental properties, vacant land and most commercial property.

The cap does not apply to agricultural lands, land set aside for conservation and tangible personal property.

The measure in 2008 was part of a wide-ranging amendment backed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist and the real-estate industry.

A prominent portion of the 2008 amendment --- not impacted by Lee's proposal --- allowed homeowners to transfer Save Our Homes tax benefits to new residences.

The 10 percent cap portion of the amendment does not apply to taxes collected for school districts.

The amendment was approved by 64 percent of voters.