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Real estate taxes exemption in Florida for quadriplegics, but why?

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  • Real estate taxes exemption in Florida for quadriplegics, but why?

    I am a Massachusetts resident. My father had a condominium in Florida and I came to realize if the property was in my name and I lived there full-time I would not have to pay real estate taxes.

    Does anyone know the theory or the rationale behind this tax exemption for quadriplegics? I would love to have a tax exemption up here in Massachusetts for my house as I pay almost $12,000 a year for real estate taxes. Most of the tax money goes towards the public schools and my wife and I do not have any children. Could some of the rationale behind the tax exemption in Florida be quadriplegics typically do not have children that would use the school system? Quadriplegics typically do not work, quadriplegics do not make as much money as the average person, quadriplegics have high medical bills that must be paid, quadriplegics typically have transportation problems and are not reliable employees due to transportation problems, health problems, PCA problems etc.?

    I am just throwing this out there and I am not saying quadriplegics do not work or do not have children or do not have transportation. I'm just wondering why Florida exempts quadriplegics from paying real estate taxes. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
    Last edited by smokey; 02-28-2019, 01:06 PM.

  • #2
    Good question, Smokey. I don't know the answer but imagine that you could research it by discovering when the legislation was passed and who the bill's sponsors were. There must be newspaper accounts that offer the back story. My guess -- and it's only that -- is that in part at least, a consortium of real estate developers were able to successfully lobby the state legislature to exempt property taxes to attract disabled veterans primarily for in an effort to sell new housing. The city/state revenue base would grow some by virtue of the increased population (i.e., sales taxes).

    The provision appears to include paras as well.

    196.101 Exemption for totally and permanently disabled persons.—(1) Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by any quadriplegic is exempt from taxation.
    (2) Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by a paraplegic, hemiplegic, or other totally and permanently disabled person, as defined in s. 196.012(11), who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, is exempt from taxation.
    (3) The production by any totally and permanently disabled person entitled to the exemption in subsection (1) or subsection (2) of a certificate of such disability from two licensed doctors of this state or from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor to the property appraiser of the county wherein the property lies, is prima facie evidence of the fact that he or she is entitled to such exemption.
    stephen@bike-on.com

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    • #3
      I am a quad I live in florida lose to tally I had 2 dr sign off on me being a quad I pay no property taxes para don/t eith from what I understand but they do have to show taxes where quads don/t

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      • #4
        We have a similar program in Virginia. How much of an exemption depends on income, it's a sliding scale from 20% to 100% exemption. Be sure, also, that it is a true "exemption". I've heard from others (in other states) that these programs can be "deferred" taxes, not totally exempted, which come due upon selling or estate settling upon death. I think it's simply a compassionate thing, since stats say only ~20% of us work.
        "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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        • #5
          Seems like Florida actually has some thoughtful laws, including one where the government wont be putting someone out on the street from their own house due to a severe disability.

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          • #6
            I get 30% as a para in Tennessee. If you're military disabled 100%, you get 75% off. It used to be 100% off if military disabled, they just changed it a few years back.
            Last edited by airart1; 03-02-2019, 03:03 AM. Reason: added more info

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            • #7
              Originally posted by airart1 View Post
              I get 30% as a para in Tennessee.
              That is interesting news. Is that a county only, or state law? Definitely gotta check into that now...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Andy View Post
                Seems like Florida actually has some thoughtful laws, including one where the government wont be putting someone out on the street from their own house due to a severe disability.
                Gosh, Andy!! Thoughtful=socialism. You're almost making sense AND compassionate? Congratulations!
                69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                NW NJ

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                • #9
                  I think it's state, Andy, might be just county, never checked..i live in Montgomery...Clarksville...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                    Good question, Smokey. I don't know the answer but imagine that you could research it by discovering when the legislation was passed and who the bill's sponsors were. There must be newspaper accounts that offer the back story. My guess -- and it's only that -- is that in part at least, a consortium of real estate developers were able to successfully lobby the state legislature to exempt property taxes to attract disabled veterans primarily for in an effort to sell new housing. The city/state revenue base would grow some by virtue of the increased population (i.e., sales taxes).

                    The provision appears to include paras as well.

                    196.101 Exemption for totally and permanently disabled persons.?(1) Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by any quadriplegic is exempt from taxation.
                    (2) Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by a paraplegic, hemiplegic, or other totally and permanently disabled person, as defined in s. 196.012(11), who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, is exempt from taxation.
                    (3) The production by any totally and permanently disabled person entitled to the exemption in subsection (1) or subsection (2) of a certificate of such disability from two licensed doctors of this state or from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor to the property appraiser of the county wherein the property lies, is prima facie evidence of the fact that he or she is entitled to such exemption.

                    Thanks Steverino, As you so brilliantly suggested, I think my best bet is to find the bill's sponsor in FL, contact them and find out what drove them to enact the law. It must have been a rather compelling set of reasons because he/she would have to convince other legislators it was a worthwhile bill.

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                    • #11
                      If you can't afford to remodel your house for wheelchair access, you are more likely to rely on housing at the taxpayers' expense. No way to be sure about this, but maybe states where real estate appreciates more don't offer tax breaks for SCIs because if you have a profit you can better afford to remodel your house for wheelchair access.
                      Last edited by August West; 03-04-2019, 04:58 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I use to live in Florida until the Hurricanes (Lost my Roof) chased me out. The Property Tax exemption was a big help on a limited income. I tried to bring attention to this exemption in PA where I live now but had no success. I don't understand why this isn't in every state. It would be nice if some of these SCI organizations would take up the cause. The property taxes here in PA are going up. I live with my Mother & Stepfather and we share expenses but they are in their mid 70s and if one of them gets sick I can't afford to stay here. Its making us think about moving out of the state. I see Arizona has a type of disability exemption and if I have to relocated it might as well be in a warmer climate. I do miss Florida's weather.
                        "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

                        -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

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                        • #13
                          Perhaps Florida recognized that quads had to pay people to keep up the house and property and in doing so would support the local economy. Regardless of the reason, don't look at it too closely and take advantage of it if you would like.
                          "Never argue with an idiot; they'll drag you down to their level and other people may not be able to tell the difference."

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                          • #14
                            ITS a huge savings. moving from ohio to florida was a big money savings for us, no income tax or property tax is huge. been here a year now and its paradise. outside everyday year round
                            Bike-on.com rep
                            John@bike-on.com
                            c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                            sponsored handcycle racer

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                            • #15
                              Florida real estate doesn't go up much. If you have to renovate not for luxury but to accommodate your SCI then you won't make it up on the sale. Hence, they give you a break. California is the place to be. More expensive but it pays off in the long run because California real estate prices always go up even when prices stagnate elsewhere (at least along the coast). Paying taxes is peanuts in comparison. That's probably why they don't offer tax breaks here.

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