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Realtors move another $1.5 million into Amendment 4 pro-property tax campaign committee

by Dara Kam | September 24th, 2012

State and national Realtors associations pumped another $1.5 million into a campaign pushing a constitutional amendment limiting property taxes mainly for nonhomestead property owners, bringing to $3.5 million the groups have raised so far, according to campaign finance records.

The Florida Association of Realtors added another $1 million on Aug. 31 and the National Association of Realtors gave $500,000 on Sept. 5 to the “Taxpayers First” political committee, the records show. The Florida group had already dumped more than $2 million into the campaign, which includes a slick “Tax Your Assets Off” marketing blitz, urging a “yes” vote on Amendment 4.

Amendment 4 would save money for first-time home buyers, rental property owners and snowbirds, and it could cut taxes for homestead owners who lose value on their homes.

Local governments oppose the amendment, one of 11 put on the November ballot by the GOP-dominated legislature, which state economists say could cost schools, counties and cities about $1.7 billion over four years.

The Florida Association of Counties recently set up the “Citizens for Local Decision Making” political committee but haven’t reported any contributions yet, the campaign finance records show.

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14 Responses to “Realtors move another $1.5 million into Amendment 4 pro-property tax campaign committee”

  1. CE Says:

    This is my understanding of the Amendment…A proposed Constitutional Amendment on the November 2012 ballot would create Florida jobs, grow Florida’s Gross Domestic Product, and increase the personal income of Floridians, if passed, according to an INDEPENDENT economic and fiscal analysis of the amendment by Florida TaxWatch, the NONPARTISAN, NONPROFIT public policy research institute and GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG. Amendment 4, a legislatively proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would make changes to the property tax system, was analyzed by a new Florida TaxWatch report, Fiscal and Economic Impact of Amendment 4.
    Amendment 4 would take effect on January 1, 2013, and proposes:
    • an additional homestead exemption for first-time Florida homebuyers, equal to 50 percent of the Just Value of a property up to the median Just Value of a homestead property in that county, which phases out over 5 years by reducing by 20 percent each year;
    • a reduction in the nonhomestead maximum annual Assessed Value increase cap from the current 10 percent (on non-school levies) to a new level of 5 percent and an extension of nonhomestead Assessed Value caps through the 2022 tax year (which also does not apply toschool levies) and;
    • providing legislative authority to eliminate the Save Our Homes “Recapture Rule.”
    Using the best available data and an advanced econometric analysis, Florida TaxWatch estimates that the passage of Amendment 4 would result in the creation of 19,483 private, non-farm jobs over the 10-year period of the analysis (2013-2022), that Florida GDP would increase by approximately $1.1 billion, and personal income would increase by more than $5.3 billion. This seems pretty good to me and I believe school taxes are exempt, so, not sure why schools would be hurt. What am I missing?

  2. nemo Says:

    CE…I’m not sure what you’r missing…but my grandmother always said “if something looks too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true.

    I’m sure realtors would not lie to us…right…

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