Posted by: realtormarkpalace | June 7, 2012

Amendment 4 would create jobs, boost economy

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 7, 2012 – A proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on Florida’s November 2012 ballot would create jobs, grow Florida’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and increase Floridians’ personal income if passed, according to an independent analysis by Florida TaxWatch, a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research institute. TaxWatch published its results in a report, Fiscal and Economic Impact of Amendment 4.

According to Florida TaxWatch’s analysis, Amendment 4 – if passed by the required 60 percent of Florida voters – would create 19,483 private, non-farm jobs over a 10-year period (2013-2022). At the same time, Florida GDP would increase by approximately $1.1 billion, and personal income would increase by more than $5.3 billion.

Passage would also have a significant impact on the state’s real estate market. The report estimates that between 319,861 and 383,810 additional home sales would close over the 10-year period if Amendment 4 passes.

“I am overwhelmed by the positive impact this amendment would have on jobs in Florida,” says Florida Realtors Senior Vice President of Public Policy John Sebree. “It’s certainly worth fighting for a constitutional change that results in nearly 20,000 new jobs. I’m excited about the fairness this amendment would bring to Florida’s tax structure, and thrilled the TaxWatch study confirms that it will have such a positive impact on the state’s economy.”

TaxWatch points out another advantage of Amendment 4 that cannot be analyzed in dollars and cents – a yearly nonhomestead property tax cap reduction from 10 percent to 5 percent. That change, according to TaxWatch, promotes investment. If businesses know they won’t face property tax increases greater than 5 percent per year, they’ll invest in more Florida properties. The only potential downside to this, TaxWatch says, is that it could encourage investors to jump into the market earlier in some economic cycles. While that would immediately boost the market, it could also create an investment slowdown later in the cycle and give them an advantage over late investors.

“The increased economic activity … in this analysis is the result of the savings from Amendment 4 being distributed throughout the economy,” says Florida TaxWatch Chief Economist Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Competitive Florida and author of the study.

“From an economist’s standpoint, these findings are not surprising because the proposed Amendment 4 would reduce uncertainty for both personal and business investment – and when individuals and businesses can better estimate their future costs, including property taxes, they are more likely to invest.”

If passed by voters, Amendment 4 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and would:

• Provide an additional homestead exemption for first-time Florida homebuyers equal to 50 percent of “just value” of a property, up to the median “just value” of a homestead property in that county. The first-time buyer exemption would phase out over five years.

• Reduce the maximum annual “assessed value” increase cap for nonhomestead property from the current 10 percent (on non-school levies) to 5 percent, and extend nonhomestead “assessed value” caps through the 2022 tax year (which also does not apply to school levies).

• Provide legislative authority to eliminate the Save Our Homes “Recapture Rule.”

For more information on Amendment 4 and efforts to make it part of the Florida Constitution, visit FLTaxpayersFirst.org

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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