Joel Greenberg calls on Governor Scott to allow prepayment of 2018 taxes

Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg sent the following letter calling for Governor Scott to issue an executive order allowing prepayment of 2018 taxes.
The issue arises in the new Federal tax bill, which caps the deduction of state and local taxes in 2018. By paying their 2018 taxes this year, they can take advantage of the full deduction of taxes.
“Dear Governor Scott,
The federal tax reform bill, recently signed into law by President Donald Trump, caps the deductibility of state and
local tax at $10,000. Some Florida residents have concluded they may be adversely impacted by this recent change in the law; an adverse impact that would be remedied by prepaying their 2018 property tax bill in 2017 to maximize their benefits under the still existing federal tax law.
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing the citizens of New York to make
partial payment of property taxes until the end of the year legal under the current federal tax law. In this way, the
citizens of New York could deduct part, or the full amount, of their payment from their federal taxes before the new tax bill goes into effect.
It is my recommendation Florida do the same, and allow its residents to reap the benefits of the existing tax law, and prepay their property taxes for 2018.
Currently, Florida statute section 197.222 allows for the prepayment of property taxes, for taxes in excess of $100, to be prepaid once the tax roll is open. However, the 2018 tax roll is not open for collection, and thus the taxpayer is not authorized, under law, to prepay his 2018 property taxes.
It is this office’s recommendation that you issue an Executive Order temporarily suspending that portion of Florida
statute section 197.122 requiring the prepayment of taxes only when the tax roll is open, and allowing early prepayment through the end of 2017, for taxes owed in 2018.
An executive order like this would have the benefit of encouraging early payment of the property tax bills, thus ensuring taxes are paid, and further allowing citizens who think they are hurt by the new federal tax laws to reap the benefits of the existing federal tax laws one additional year. I trust you will give this matter careful consideration, and my office will assist your office in anyway needed to issue such
an executive order.
You have been a hero to the citizens of Florida for your leadership and discipline in holding the line
on taxes in Florida. Realizing the late date presents challenges to implementing a new program, I believe that if this is logistically possible, you could bolster early payment of taxes and lessen the burden on the citizens of this great state.
Very truly yours,
Joel Greenberg
Seminole County Tax Collector”

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