September 25th, 2007 4:13 PM by Sherry Lee
By now, most people are aware that Florida is having a problem with runaway government spending, property taxes and insurance. It's been two years since we saw the first decline in property values in 30 years. Values have yet to stabilize.
State Legislators met in a special summer session to address the issues and we got two things: One: 5-9% cuts to municipal budgets (resulting in an average $150 savings over last years tax bill) And two: the Super Exemption, which 60% of voters would have to approve in January 2008.
On September 24, the super exemption was thrown off the January 2008 ballot. A judge in South Florida ruled that the ballot language was confusing and misleading. State leaders are already planning to rewrite the language when they go into special session in October. This time, they will have make it clear to voters that a vote for the super exemption is a vote against Save Our Homes. If you vote yes for the super exemption, you get to keep Save Our Homes only until you move. Once you move, it goes away - forever.
The good news is, while all of this is taking place, Florida voters are mobilizing with their own set of ballot initiatives. Petitions are circulating and approval is being sought on a whole host of proposals for everything from eliminating property taxes altogether, to setting maximum property insurance rates. With enough signatures, we could end up with several good amendments to consider in November 2008.
Proposals include: The Florida Ballot Initiative, The 30-40-50 Plan, 1% Flat Tax, TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights), Portability and the Super Exemption
In my opinion, Florida Ballot Initiative is the most comprehensive set of proposals. It addresses a multitude of tax, insurance and fuel cost issues to help all Floridians. It has strong support, but needs 611,000 signatures by February 1, 2008 in order to get placed on the November 2008 ballot.
I encourage everyone to visit the website to read and download the six petitions www.FloridaBallotInitiative.com
If you have any questions or comments about the proposals, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007