In the event that you held title to a particular residential property in Delray Beach, Florida the annual property tax because of the town could possibly be either $600 or $2,800. What determines the worth owed? The clear answer may shock you. Your status as an individual domiciled full time in the state of Florida vs. your status as a seasonal resident, aka, “snow birds “.The clear answer to this question generally seems to violate the strict scrutiny standard of the equal protection clause of the constitution.
The legislature has seen fit to permit towns to tax “snow birds” repeatedly the quantity of tax while they do regular residents. The people who fall under the higher tax bracket would also seem to fall under a protected class of seasonal sate residents. Moreover, this class features a fundamental right to travel pursuant to Federal case law. In a relevant case, seasonal residents alleged that the Department of Labor and Industries wrongfully denied workers compensation rights as unconstitutional since it violated their fundamental right to travel. The court held that the exclusion for seasonal workers unconstitutionally infringed on the seasonal residents’right to travel and denied them equal protection of the law. The court held that the exclusion constituted a penalty on the seasonal residents’fundamental right to travel. Macias v. Dep’t of Labor & Industry 100 Wn.2d 263 (1983).
Any such discrimination against someone in violation of his or her fundamental rights, through state action can only be upheld by a court where in fact the discrimination is justified by a compelling governmental interest, www.taxfyle.com the policy should be narrowly tailored to attain desired goal and there can not be described as a less restrictive method to effectively achieve the compelling government interest. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Com., 514 U.S. 334 (1995); H-CHH Associates v. Citizens for Representative Government 193 Cal.App.3d 1193 (1987).
As a person who has no stake in the topic matter of this informative article, and an unbiased observer with this tax practice, I can not comprehend what the motivation of the state is for the excess tax beyond simply raising additional revenue by discriminating against those individuals who would like to assert their fundamental right to travel. The Florida trial court has held that the a Florida statute providing for additional homestead protection for those residents who lived in the state for significantly more than five years violated the “right to travel and equal protection of the laws beneath the United States Constitution. Osterndorf v. Turner, 426 So.2d 539 (1983).
In preparing this informative article, I have questioned several permanent Florida residents regarding the aforementioned tax practice and they all concur that though the state and individual towns clearly need additional police, fire fighters, improved public schools and repair of streets and highways, the burden should not fall on the shoulders of people who utilize services the least, if at all.
One possible treatment for the problem might be a temporary resident tax paid by people who rent through properties significantly more than four months a year, thereby garnishing revenue for the commercial usage of residential real estate in Florida. The obvious problem with this solution is that it could have an important detrimental affect on tourism, the lifeblood of the Floridian economy. Another proposed solution is to bring back the impound tax on automobiles. This tax’s automobiles brought into the state for a prolonged time period for those cars registered in another state, or owned by “snow birds “.The notion of this tax seems to be appropriate, because those who find themselves using the Florida roads will pay a tax for the use, where they are not paying the state for registration.
What is the gist of all this? You will find no easy answers, but disparate treatment through the tax code of a protected class of an individual by means of attempting to limit one’s right to travel is unquestionably not the least restrictive methods to an end.