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Wounded Fort Pierce vet gets free home from Realtors

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 by Dara Kam

Florida Realtors, in the Capitol today for their annual lobbying day, announced the gift of a Port St. Lucie, three-bedroom home to retired Sgt. Michael Burke, a wounded Fort Pierce veteran. The gift was a partnership of the Military Warriors Support Foundation and Chase Bank.

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, introduced Burke, his wife Nichole and their children Layla and Bryce, as they looked on from the public gallery during the afternoon floor session.

Burke, wounded in Iraq and retired from the Army for medical reasons, said he and his family found out about the free home late last year and are moving in “as soon as we can.”

Counties, cities launch anti-Amend 4 campaign

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Florida cities and counties have launched a “Tax Breaks 4 Snowbirds” campaign in opposition to Amendment 4, a proposed constitutional amendment with a smorgasbord of property tax breaks pushed by Realtors.

The Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties are fighting back against the Realtors, who’ve dumped more than $3.5 million into a campaign pushing the amendment that includes a cheeky “Tax Your Assets Off” marketing blitz.

“Amendment 4 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge, president of the FAC, said in a press release announcing the new campaign.

State economists predict the measure will cost more than $1.7 billion over four years. The loss in tax revenue will be shifted to local governments and long-time property owners, who already benefit from the state’s Save Our Homes cap but won’t gain from the new proposal, the counties and cities say.

But Realtors and other supporters of the amendment put on the ballot by the legislature say it will boost Florida’s real estate market. They say the state economists didn’t take into consideration the potential positive impact real estate sales the measure could bring.

Florida Realtors get $16 million for oil spill losses

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 by Dara Kam

Florida Realtors will divvy up $16 million to cover lost sales in the aftermath of the April 20th Deepwater Horizon rig blast and ensuing massive oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida’s sharing in about $60 million claims czar Ken Feinberg set aside for real estate agents and brokers although they would not be eligible for claims under state or federal law.

He’s already given property owners the bad news that they’ll likely get nada from the $20 billion fund set up by BP to cover losses caused by the spill.

Each of the Gulf Coast states’ real estate associations will dole out the funds to realtors.

Florida Realtors, the state association representing realtors, hired Indiana-based claims adjustment firm NCA to handle the claims and administer the funds, according to press release issued by the association.

Feinberg, who took over BP’s botched claims system at 12:01 a.m this morning, has said that realtors were the loudest group making a pitch for how the oil disaster made an already sluggish real estate market even worse.

Feinberg’s in charge of administering the $20 billion fund BP set up to pay for losses and injuries caused by the disaster. BP will put the money into the Gulf Coast Claims Facility account over four years.

Feinberg said the first checks to individuals filing claims will go out by Wednesday and within a week for businesses.

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