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Sales Tax on Services Update

Florida Senate President John McKay, R-Bradenton, has proposed an ambitious plan to reform Florida's sales tax system. His proposal: Reduce the state's sales tax from 6 percent to 4.5 percent, but tax services currently exempt from the sales tax.

While currently, there is an exemption for real estate commissions, other real estate transaction services -- title searches, appraisals, document preparation -- might not be exempt. It's also unknown if Multiple Listing Services are taxable under McKay's proposal.

What's more, thousands of other independent businesspersons would not be exempt. Accountants, printers, landscapers, graphic designers, surveyors, electricians, plumbers and architects would be taxed.

The proposal would severely impact the more than one million service providers in Florida and their customers. It will unnecessarily increase the cost of doing business, costs which will undoubtedly be passed on to consumers.

For more information contact your political representatives. Don't know the names of your Florida Representive or Senator? Visit the online reference service at Project Vote Smart.

Note: excerpt from Florida Realtor Business Magazine article by Bridget McCrea -
March 2002

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I establish Florida residency?
How do I file for Homestead Exemption?
How are my Real Estate Taxes levied?

Establishing Residency
To establish residency, you may register to vote or file a Declaration of Domicile, which is an affidavit available at the County Courthouse. Filing one copy with the Circuit Court provides a record of your intention to make Florida your home. Simply moving to the State does not guarantee legal residency. For more information call the Clerk of Circuit Court at 561-288-5576.
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Homestead Exemption
In Florida, $25,000 of the assessed value of your home is exempt from real estate takes, but you have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the exemption. First you much have the title or record to your property as of January 1, and reside on the property. You have to be a legal and permanent resident of Florida as of January 1 and March 1. When applying for the exemption status, bring along a copy of your deed or tax bill, and a Florida county voters registration or Declaration of Domicile. If you drive, you must also bring your Florida driver's license and automobile registration. New applications must be submitted in person at the appraiser's office, but renewals may be done by mail. For further information, consult the County Property Appraiser's Office at 561-288-5608

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Real Estate Taxes
Taxes on real estate are levied by Martin County, it's several cities and special districts. All residents are subject to county taxes, but each city or special district levies taxes within its boundaries. City, special-district, and county taxes are combined in one tax bill. Real estate taxes are assessed as of January 1 each year. They are due and payable on November 1 and become delinquent if not paid before April 1 of the following year. Florida law holds the taxpayer responsible for receiving and paying tax bills in full. For additional information call the County Property Appraiser's Office at 561-288-5609

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