Property Tax and Insurance Reform:
Governor Crist understands the importance of reducing property taxes and making homeowners insurance more affordable. He supports doubling the Homestead Exemption and making the Save Our Homes Cap portable statewide. Governor Crist believes the insurance industry, rather than the government, should assume the financial risk for hurricanes.
Governor Crist supports a constitutional amendment to give counties the option by referendum to double the Homestead Exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. Statewide portability of the Save Our Homes tax cap will allow homeowners to take their current tax rate with them and continue capping increases at the lower rate of 3 percent increase over the prior years assessment when the move. He will seek a special election in 2007 have these constitutional amendments placed on the ballot as soon as possible.
The fundamental question in property insurance reform is who will pay for hurricanes destruction—the government or the insurance industry. Governor Crist believes the insurance industry should assume the financial risk. He believes costs can be lowered by allowing insurers to access cheaper reinsurance through the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund more quickly and through the creation of a National Catastrophic Fund. He supports providing financial incentives to homeowners to adequately prepare their homes for natural disasters and demands transparency and accountability for insurance companies. The Governor would like to bring more insurers to Florida to increase competition in the marketplace.