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Home Buyer Activity Increases in Miami

HouseI have to apologize to my 7 (he he) loyal readers for not writing in ten days. This blog truly is kept up by me and not a ghost writer. Yes, believe it or not there are real estate bloggers out there who aren’t really writing their own stuff. Gasp!

Anyway, I am not here to trash those agents who would go against the nature of blogging and hire their writing out. Nor am I here to claim that blog purists insist “you’re not a blogger unless you’re doing your own blogging.” Whatever.

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Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: No Comments »

Florida Property Tax Reform – Vote NO To Amendment One

Vote No To Amendment One

I have been meaning to write a post regarding Amendment One and the confusion that is attached to the Florida property tax reform issues. This is not that post. This is a reprint of an email reply I sent to a friend and colleague when she asked for my support of Amendment One. I figured I had already written it and included so many great links, why not copy it and post it here? I am still planning the post but this issue is too important to wait a couple more days until I have the time. Here’s the email reply to my friend as to why I will vote NO to Amendment One on January 29th:

I am voting NO on this. There is much confusion on what this amendment represents and this is not our only chance for tax reform this year. This is direct from the Sun-Sentinel property tax blog (link below) : if it does not pass, other options are already in the works.

The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is currently meeting to decide whether it wants to put any amendments on the November 2008 general election ballot.

One proposal being considered by the commission would eliminate most school property taxes (which comprise about 40 percent of the average property tax bill) and replace the lost revenue by expanding the state sales tax to services and goods that are now exempt, such as accounting and legal services.

There is also a citizen petition drive led by Cut Property Taxes Now, Inc., which is collecting voter signatures to get an amendment on the November 2008 ballot that would cap property taxes at 1.35 percent of value.

Lastly, the Legislature convenes on Tuesday, March 4, in its regular 60-day session. At that time, lawmakers could consider putting another amendment on the November ballot.

As for local government overspending, the Legislature last summer met in special session to pass legislation mandating that most cities and counties roll back their spending between 3 percent and 9 percent. Those reductions should have been reflected on the property tax bill you received last fall unless local government officials voted to override the mandate.

—Linda Kleindienst, Tallahassee Bureau Chief


Now this is me again =)

If amendment 1 passes it would likely represent an average of $240/yr savings on our taxes. In the last 6 years taxes have pretty much tripled (ie $1900 is now $5700) and all they can come up with is a $240 cut?

I would suggest the following links for anyone who wants to learn more about whats going on:

http://fairpropertytaxforall.org/ I am signing this petition. It has NOTHNG to do with Amendment 1.

http://www.floridataxwatch.org/news/propertytax.php (according to Tax Watch, the amendment amounts to a tax cut, not true tax reform, which is sorely needed) IF YOU READ NO OTHER LINK, PLEASE READ THIS ONE.

http://www.floridataxwatch.org/resources/pdf/01152008nrFloridaTaxWatchReportAmendment1PropertyTaxes.pdf A special report from Florida Tax Watch. According to their thorough analysis œAmendment 1 on property taxes is likely to do more harm than good. Read it and find out why.

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/custom/propertytax/blog/ ask questions, get answers

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jan/14/na-if-voters-kill-tax-amendment-true-reform-will-b/?news-opinion-editorials -very eye opening as to why we should vote NO.

http://www.votesmartflorida.org/mx/hm.asp?id=home Free, Non-Partisan source for constitutional amendment information

Ill get off my soapbox now.

This is a really important issue to every one of us and it actually hurts to think that I belong to 3 4 associations that are supporting this amendment which can hurt us in the long run.

VOTE NO ON 1/29!!!

Disclaimer – I am posting this as the opinion of Maggie Dokic, not of EWM Realtors. EWM Realtors has not expressed endorsement of my opinion. Just clearing that up for anyone who may be reading. =)

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Do You Not Understand Its Mortgage Fraud?

HandcuffsI like selling real estate in the Miami Redland. I’ve met some great people in my business. I’ve helped lots of folks and knowing I’ve done a good job is extremely satisfying to me.

Yesterday I didn’t like one of the people who contacted me. I was on my way to a meeting in Aventura and driving on I-95. I’m not that familiar with the area and was keeping an eye on the exits.

My phone rang and I answered, “Hello, this is Maggie!” The gentleman on the phone asked me about some homes in an area of Homestead. I told him that I didn’t have homes available specifically where he said but a little further away I have a development listed with 15 homes still available for sale and affordable.

He asked me for the prices and if there were any incentives. I answered all his questions and he said something about wanting “cash back.” I told him we were not offering cash back at closing. I went even further and told him it was mortgage fraud and illegal.

He said to let him worry about that. He asked me again for the prices. I repeated them. “What will they appraise at?” he asked me. OK, now I see he’s trying to skin the cat a different way. I know where he’s headed with this.

I tried really hard to not sound arrogant when I replied, “they will appraise at what they’re priced at. If they were to appraise higher, we would be selling them for more money.” Now this may seem like common sense, but I did understand where he was headed. He’s familiar with appraisals that come in, magically, at numbers that are inflated. These inflated appraisals are key in being able to commit mortgage fraud. I guess he thinks he knows my business better than I do.

Mr. Cash Back must have realized that my patience was wearing thin. He told me he’d call me back if he decided to look at these homes. I’m happy if he loses my phone number. The only orange I look good in is perhaps an orange scarf. An entire jumpsuit might be a bit much. Besides that, I worked hard for my license and am actually proud of it. I won’t be risking losing it anytime soon.

By the time I hung up I realized I had passed my exit by 5 miles. Dagnabit!

Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: 10 Comments »

These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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