November is already upon us (can you believe it?). It seems like our grills had only just cooled from the summer cookout season and now, we’re already in the midst of the winter holidays. The middle of the fourth quarter is quite active in Florida – not just with the peak of real estate buying season and holiday preparations, but the political activity that becomes part of our daily commutes and conversations.
While there are many items on the ballot to discuss and debate, at Michael Saunders & Company we wanted to draw attention to one of the amendments related to our line of business and provide additional insight so you feel prepared to make the decision right for you at the polls on November 6th.
You can always save the other election topics for Thanksgiving dinner…or maybe just enjoy the football and stuffing.
The main amendment we wanted to highlight on this ballot is Florida Amendment 2. Primarily backed by The Florida Association of Realtors, this amendment would make permanent the cap of 10% on annual nonhomestead parcel assessment increases set to expire on January 1, 2019.
Nonhomestead properties include:
Considering Sarasota was recently named the third Fastest-Growing Second Home Market in a white paper last May from Christie’s International Real Estate, this amendment impacts a large portion of those that consider our lovely Gulf Coast both home and second home.
To best explain the impact this would have, we reached out to Laura Benson, Branch Manager of our Plantation – West Villages and Venice offices. Laura is a longstanding member of the Sarasota Association of Realtors and has served as the 2012 President, chaired its Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Committees, served on its executive board and has been certified as an instructor for the state-mandated ethics course. Additionally, she has also been an elected member of the Sarasota County School Board and is a past president of the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota.
Explaining Amendment 2 she says:
“[Amendment 2] is designed to give commercial property owners and investors in homes and apartments certainty in valuations for budgeting and investment decisions. It is also to protect renters and tenants from large rent increases. Unrestrained increases in valuations mean larger tax bills to property owners. Those increased costs are passed on to the rent payers.”
That trickle-down effect to the rent payers and those in our service industry, in particular, is important:
“Imagine a family with young children working in our service industries and already struggling to pay rent for a decent home having to figure out how to pay for rents that are increasing beyond their budgets. This is a measure of protection for those that help our community excel.”
Below is the verbiage you’ll see on the ballot:
Amendment 2: Permanent Cap on Nonhomestead Parcel Assessment Increases Amendment
“Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified nonhomestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.”
A “yes” vote supports this amendment to make permanent the cap of 10 percent on annual nonhomestead parcel assessment increases set to expire on January 1, 2019.
A “no” vote opposes this amendment to make permanent the cap of 10 percent on annual nonhomestead parcel assessment increases set to expire on January 1, 2019.
Like any election, we hope you take the time to make your voice heard and let your local, state and federal government know the issues that you care about most. Being a swing state, your opinion matters more than ever. We are incredibly thankful for the wonderful Michael Saunders & Company agents that provide these insights and more to our customers every day and welcome you to connect with one that suits your real estate goals.