City Council has been trying to find a way to get out in front of January’s referendum on the homestead super exemption. It’s understandable: a reduction in the taxable value of homes will result in less revenue for Tampa. And fewer projects, programs and personnel.
Speculation about involving unions, including firefighters and police, however, has not been well received. And Mayor Pam Iorio won’t be rolling out the bully pulpit to stare down the super exemption. That apparently leaves resolution-passing as a viable way of expressing opposition to the super exemption. That’s an option that barely beats frowning.
A suggestion to council: Your best ally could be the county property appraiser. That office’s analysis shows the majority of those planning to stay in their homes long term will actually pay less in taxes if they resist the siren song of the super exemption and stay with “Save Our Homes” and the 3 percent tax cap.
Which is a vote for taxpayer savings and neighborhood stability. Which is a lot better than playing the anxiety card.