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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