The Florida Association of Realtors has begun its Central Florida campaign for adoption of the Amendment 4 restrictions on property taxes in a big way — with a $350,000 burst of TV, radio and direct-mail ads as well as robo-calls. The number is courtesy of Ben Fairbrother, who’s running the TaxYourAssetsOff campaign for Taxpayers First, a creation of the Realtors’ group.
Amendment 4 would extend the “Save Our Homes” protections against rising home prices to non-homesteaded properties including businesses and rental homes, limiting annual increases in valuation to 5 percent, and would give new homebuyers an additional homestead exemption of up to $150,000 for up to 5 years. It would also allow the Legislature to repeal SOH’s so-called “recapture” provision, which both limits property-tax increases to 3 percent a year when home values go up — but also allows similar increases when values go down, as they have in recent years.
The campaign has identified this latter provision as a condition it’s calling — we are not making this up — “Sudden Posterior Reduction Syndrome,” or SPRS. Its TV ad and mailer TaxYourAssetsOff-Postcard take plenty of word-play liberties with the term.
“I just want my daddy to get his asset back,” says a young girl “interviewed” in the TV ad.
Amendment 4 will be on the November ballot — put there by the Legislature — and will require a 60 percent vote to pass. It’s certain to be opposed by local governments — cities, counties and school districts — that have seen their property-tax collections “drop like a rock” (as former Gov. Charlie Crist once famously predicted) because of the recession and the bursting of the housing bubble.
Originally posted on The Orlando Sentinel Blog