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September 7, 2012

Home rule is one of the cornerstones of government in Florida. Basically, it constitutionally guarantees cities and counties the authority to run their local governments and the services they provide how they see fit. Except …

The state retains all taxing authority, meaning the Legislature sets all the rules when it comes to taxation.

For the most part, the home rule clause in the Florida Constitution has worked well since being codified in 1973. As Florida and its property values grew over the decades, city, county, school board and other local government budgets grew with them. Then came the 2007 housing crash.

Since then, local governmental entities, largely dependent on property taxes, have struggled to maintain the status quo as property values have declined, and local tax revenues with them. And any attempt to raise taxes — again, that generally means property taxes — has been understandably opposed not just because they are unpalatable but because they are perceived as unfair.

Read the full article online here

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