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Lawmakers will be back in Tallahassee later this year to work on property insurance, again

A home under repair following Hurricane Michael
WFSU Public Media
A home under repair following Hurricane Michael

Florida lawmakers will be back in Tallahassee later this year for a special session to deal with Hurricane Ian-caused problems and do more work on the state's troubled property insurance market.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the special session will convene after Election Day election and before the end of the year. The goal is to give people who suffered property or business damage some tax relief.

"One of the purposes of the session will be to address these tax obligations and make sure homeowners and business owners can get rebated on the property tax issue—we actually passed a bill recently where that’s the norm, it just doesn’t kick in until January first, so we’re going to make that retroactive. We’re going to make sure that relief is there," DeSantis said Thursday.

Lawmakers will also consider releasing state money to affected communities to help with issues such as repairs/replacements to fire departments or other types of infrastructure. And, they’ll take another stab at bringing down property insurance costs.

“It costs way more to replace a roof than it did just three years ago," DeSantis said during a press conference in Southwest Florida, where Hurricane Ian made landfall.

"So we need to do everything we can to push back on that and fight for a more competitive market where rates are incentivized to go down.”

Lawmakers last met on the issue in May and agreed on a series of changes in an attempt to stabilize the property insurance market. Several insurers have collapsed in the past year, and the state-backed Citizens property insurance company—meant to be the insurer of last resort-- now has nearly 1.1 million policies.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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