A Florida proposal aims to cut property taxes by removing the state-mandated property taxes that help fund schools, writes Mike Thomas in the Orlando Sentinel. The measure would create a $9.6 billion state shortfall that could force lawmakers to end some tax exemptions, he notes. "It is a tax shift," Thomas writes. "Given the rising cost of homeownership, shifting taxes off property makes sense."
Florida residents cannot have both lower taxes and lower insurance rates, writes Mike Thomas in the Orlando Sentinel. He notes that property insurers generally lose money in Florida, and large companies are cautious about taking on too much risk in the state. State-run Citizens Property Insurance covers some residents, but when it can't pay claims, the state's only option is to raise taxes, he writes.
Buildings with steep-sloped roofs fared better against high winds during Hurricane Katrina than buildings with low-sloped roofs, according to a new study. The study, conducted by the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather issues, determined that more steeply sloped roofs held up better because of the fact building materials composing the roof structure are better at defending uplift forces.
The Senate Banking Committee has agreed on language for legislation that will extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for seven years. The bill keeps in place the current $100 million trigger but lacks provisions dealing with nuclear, biological, chemical or radiation events, which are included in the House version of the bill.
Insurance companies are adding to policies windstorm deductibles, which require a homeowner to pay a certain amount for repairs after a major storm before insurance coverage will kick in. The deductibles are a way for insurers to keep costs down while still providing affordable coverage, but homeowners pay for the lower costs by shouldering a greater part of the risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 18 states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles.