Imagine that, my taxes went down on Monday as the new year rolled in. No, no, it’s not because of Donald Trump’s tax reform package. How the tax reform package affects me, and many other taxpayers, is yet to be seen. But, on January 1, my taxes went down in a tangible and demonstrable fashion. Surprised that a taxing jurisdiction lowered taxes in a fashion my wallet actually feels? I wasn’t because in Orlando, this is the second tax reduction I experience in recent years. So much for the idea that taxes only go up and never down.

The tax I’m writing about is the commercial sales tax in Orlando. Unlike El Paso, Orlando, actually Florida, taxes rental properties a type of sales tax based on the rent amount. It is another reason why taxes in Orlando are much lower than in El Paso. There is somewhat of a controversy in Florida over the taxing of commercial rental property, but from my experience, it is better to keep property taxes down by creating other revenue sources for the local jurisdiction. I’d rather pay a tax on a commercial property than on my home. Florida is the only state that charges a tax on commercial property rentals and the governor has been trying to rid the state of the tax under the argument that it imposes a disadvantage on Florida to attract new businesses to the state.

Regardless, Florida reduced the commercial rental property tax from 6% to 5.8% starting on the first. My jurisdiction, Orlando imposed a 6.5% tax rate on my office rent in 2017, and lowered it to 6.3% this year. Tangibly it means a $3.00 monthly savings on my office rent, $36 for 2018, and hopefully beyond. ($1,597.50 vs. $1,594.50)

I realize that for many of you that may not be much, but the bottom line is that the TAX WENT DOWN!

It’s not the first time I’ve celebrated a tax reduction in Orlando. In 2016, my school taxes went down from the previous year, by about $60.

Many of you reading this today, especially those of you in El Paso, can’t say the same thing about your taxes. As a matter of fact, those in El Paso are not only dealing with high taxes, but high electricity and water bills as well.

It may only be $3.00 a month, but for me it means an extra coffee at the local Starbucks each month.

Can you say the same?

So, please excuse me as I celebrate the tax lottery today as gulp down my latte.

All kidding aside, it is always a good thing when taxes go down, even if it’s a few pennies here and a few pennies over there. Most taxes are introduced as a “few pennies” to make something better so it only stands to reason that when a tax drops (the lottery has better odds) it will be pennies here and pennies there.

For those unfortunate to be paying high taxes in El Paso to fund the playgrounds for the king makers, know that there are places where your tax voices will be heard, once in a while. So, let’s down my latte to that!

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...