With new data showing that the median price of a single-family home in Florida increased by 4.5% in the last year, Florida lawmakers are debating whether to reexamine the state’s tax incentives that have helped drive up prices and put homeowners in the middle of the housing market.
The state’s economic growth has been fueled by a $2.3 billion tax break for homes built in the past five years, a tax incentive that has helped build a new wave of single-story homes that are priced at more than twice the average of the country.
But the state has also received criticism for its lackluster housing policies, with Florida’s Housing Commission arguing last year that it would take more than two decades for a single house to become affordable for a family of four.
The housing commission’s report, released Monday, also noted that there was a strong correlation between rising housing prices and an uptick in the number of new condominiums built.
“There is no doubt that our state has been able to get the housing that it needs for the foreseeable future.
But this is just not sustainable for the long-term,” said State Sen. Steve Crisafulli, D-Lakeland, the chairman of the Housing Commission.
The tax break is a cornerstone of Florida’s economic model.
It’s the reason why Florida is home to more than 500,000 people and has a population of about 6 million.
In the past, the tax break has helped finance about $40 billion in projects.
But with the median home price in Florida rising nearly 10% last year and prices continuing to climb, Crisaful said he was concerned that it could cost the state another $1 billion to reevaluate the incentives.
“This is a $1.2 billion, 4.4% increase in tax breaks over the last five years,” Crisafunl said.
Florida has also seen a jump in the construction of condos, where there are about 1.5 million homes, a 2% increase over the previous year.
And as of last month, the number was at 8.3 million, up nearly 14% from the previous quarter.
But Crisafauli said the real estate boom could be jeopardized by the housing tax incentive.
“You’ve got to get a real estate agent on the ground to do an appraisals, you’ve got a realtors office, you have an agent who has to be able to do a lot of research, you’re going to have to have a lot more time for that,” Crisaifulli said.
The Housing Commission’s report notes that the tax breaks have helped to increase the number and quality of condos in the state.
The report said the median cost of a condo in Florida in 2014 was $1,200, up from $1 of $300 in 2009.
It said the average price of condos increased by $5,000 over the past year.
But as of December, the average home price had increased by just over $400, up to $2,600.
The average condo is now valued at more $3,000, and there are now more than 5,500 condo units in the country, according to the report.
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Boca Raton, said the tax incentives were designed to help build more affordable housing.
“They are designed to support the economy and jobs, and I think that’s a good thing,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford noted that the housing commission has also made the case that the incentives were working, noting that sales of single family homes have grown in the Bay Area and in Miami-Dade County, two of the state�s wealthiest counties.
“But there is no question that we need to do better,” he said.
Crisafooli said Florida would need to continue to grow the economy to support that growth.
“It’s not a one-time thing.
You need to keep that economy growing to create jobs and create more homes,” Crisfulli added.
Florida is one of just two states that have a property tax credit, the other being Florida in the South.
In Florida, the state only provides a property taxes credit for property value over $1 million.
But a tax credit can be a double-edged sword.
In addition to a boost in tax revenue, it can also lead to an increase in house prices and make it harder for the state to make affordable housing available for low-income families.
Florida also has a tax deduction for homeowners who rent out their homes, and many of the homeowners who take advantage of the tax credit are paying little or nothing in property taxes.
Florida’s average property tax deduction is $9,000 per year.
The report released Monday by the Housing Commision did note that Florida also has an additional tax credit for home owners with low income who can purchase a home for less than $100,000.
That tax credit is $2 for a one bedroom, $1 for a two