Saturday, September 29, 2012

Let's Talk...
Amendment 4 would revive housing market!?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sept. 28, 2012 – Leticia Adams, director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, wrote the following editorial that appeared in today’s Sunshine State News:

When Floridians head to the polls in November, they should vote yes on Amendment 4, giving homeowners and small businesses across the Sunshine State a chance to rein in property tax hikes.

Florida’s economy has traditionally been dependent on a strong housing market, but this important sector was impacted hard by the Great Recession that the Sunshine State is still recovering from. Florida voters can give this core component of our economy a needed boost and lead the way to new growth and opportunities by supporting Amendment 4 on the November ballot.

Amendment 4 will untie the Legislature’s hands so it can put an end to the unfair state “recapture” law. Under the recapture law, property taxes can increase on homes even as their property values plummet. Asking Floridians to pay more taxes on homes that are declining in value is simply wrong and Amendment 4 will let the Legislature end this injustice.

Amendment 4 reduces the cap on assessment hikes for non-homestead properties from 10 percent to 5 percent each year. This will be a boon to small businesses, which are the backbone of Florida’s economy. Small businesses create four out of five new jobs in our state and Amendment 4 will help them continue to remain an essential part of our economy. Amendment 4 will give small businesses across Florida needed tax savings that can be used to reinvest in our communities by creating new jobs, lowering prices for consumers, and increasing salaries for employees.

By lowering the cap on assessment increases, Amendment 4 will help recruit more companies to invest in Florida. These new investments will provide more economic growth and new jobs. Florida TaxWatch, a nonpartisan watchdog that was instrumental in launching Amendment 4, found that it will increase Florida’s GDP by almost $929 million and create more than 19,000 new jobs in the Sunshine State over a 10-year period.

Studies from Florida TaxWatch show that Amendment 4 will lead to an increase in new home sales across the state. Some estimates find that Amendment 4 could generate as many as 384,000 new home sales over a 10-year period. In addition to the tremendous boost to Florida’s struggling housing market, Amendment 4 will help lower the number of abandoned foreclosures that drag down property values in neighborhoods all across the state, and add more cash to the pockets of Floridians – more than $5.3 billion.

While housing has traditionally been one of the cornerstones of Florida’s economy, now it is a major factor in why our economy continues to lag behind the rest of the nation. Amendment 4 will help move the housing market back on track leading to more sales, increased property values and personal wealth, and more jobs. By supporting Amendment 4, voters will help lead Florida to a growing and vibrant economy and continue to make the Sunshine State a great place to live and do business.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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