Full Impact of Property Tax Reform Remains to Be Seen

Passed in the midst of what was perceived by many (but not all) as a crisis, the primary objective of HEA 1001-2008 was to reduce property taxes for homeowners. In this regard, it is bound to be largely successful by combining additional sales tax revenue (over $900 million) with reducing property tax levies, allowing individuals to deduct 35% of their homeowner assessment and, beginning in 2010, capping residential assessments at 1% of their gross assessed value.

These actions may not be enough to satisfy everyone, but in a state in which the homeowners’ burden was ranked as the 33rd lowest nationally (and now will drop into the bottom 10), they should be seen as more than adequate for most. Still, we can’t immediately measure its success. Like most major endeavors of this type, many questions will not be immediately answerable. They include:

* How successful will the multitude of other changes to the tax structure be at accomplishing their intended objectives?

* Will counties adopt local income taxes to serve as property tax replacements, as is the intent of the drafters?

* Will the referenda requirements dramatically affect capital projects? 

* How accurate were projections of taxpayer savings and the impact of the circuit breakers?

* How will the reforms affect business decisions?

* How will the legislation and post-enactment developments bear on the fall elections?

Diligent as they may be, the magnitude of these changes prevents surefire predictions of the outcomes. To review the Chamber’s positions on these matters, click here.