Tax rate + higher values = tax increase
The whole truth is often complicated. A partial truth is much easier to grasp. Partial truths about property taxes, told repeatedly, have made rational discussion about county taxes extremely difficult. Politicians repeatedly claim they have voted to keep the tax rate flat, or they lowered the tax rate, even when property taxes have increased. By focusing exclusively on the rate of taxation, we deny ourselves an opportunity to honestly discuss the truth about property taxes.
In 1980, the Florida Legislature recognized that local officials were misleading their constituents about property taxes and passed the “Truth in Millage” law. Under the law, if local property taxes are being increased, the public must be notified. If a local government plans to increase property taxes, the county or city must advertise their intentions with an 18-point font headline declaring a “Notice of Proposed Tax Increase” in the newspaper of general circulation (Florida Statutes, 200.062).
The Truth in Millage law was introduced following a period of rapid increase in the value of properties. Back then, local politicians would boast of lowering the tax rate, or keeping the tax rate flat, but their local government would still be piling up more tax revenues in the coffers. Even though the law now requires the truth about property taxes be advertised, the repeated half-truths by some officials, often unchallenged by the media, leave many people confused about property taxes.
Read more in the Miami Herald