Please contact your Senator and ask that the Florida Senate concur with the House of Representatives to pass measures that will begin to turn Florida’s real estate market – and economy – around.
We understand that the Legislature is facing a tough task this session given declining revenues. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that once the real estate market bounces back, so too will the entire economy.
The Florida Senate has taken a major step towards stimulating our economy by proposing $55 million towards downpayment assistance for those who qualify for the federal first time homebuyer tax credit. We certainly appreciate your commitment. You now have an opportunity to make Florida’s property tax system more fair, give homeowners a chance to win an appeal of their property tax assessment and, finally, to put the “trust” back in the housing trust funds.
Specifically, the House of Representatives has passed several important bills that await your consideration. We ask that you take the appropriate steps to get these bills passed in the Florida Senate:
SJR 532 by Senator Lynn: The bill contains both a 5% assessment cap for non-homestead properties and first-time homebuyer assessment relief. This legislation has NO fiscal impact until 2011. This important resolution would make our property tax system more fair. The House has passed their version of the 5% assessment cap, HJR 7057, and it is in Senate messages.
SB 1006 by Senator Fasano: This is important property tax appeal legislation that would change the “burden of proof.” This legislation would level the playing field for property owners and give them a reasonable shot at winning their appeals. Any fiscal impact associated with the bill assumes that assessments were incorrect to begin with. HB 521 has passed the House and is in Senate messages.
SB 1042 by Senator Bennett: This language takes the cap off the Sadowski Trust Fund for affordable housing. It does nothing to prohibit using the funds for General Revenue in the future. It simply allows all funds generated by the $ 0.20 of the documentary stamp tax to be deposited where they were originally intended. There is no fiscal impact in the next four to five years since doc stamps are not predicted to reach that level any time soon. The House version, HB 161, has passed the House and is in Senate messages.
Thank you for your consideration of these important bills that would help stimulate Florida’s economy.