Florida: Why You Should Vote “Yes” on Amendment 2

Amendment 2 preserves the 10 percent cap on annual increases of non-homestead property taxes that has been in place for the last 10 years. It is the only amendment on the ballot that does not change Florida law, and it prevents an estimated $700 million tax increase on the 2.2 million non-homestead properties currently protected in the state.

Over the past several months, Florida Realtors® has been hard at work explaining the benefits of the amendment and helping to educate voters on the need to pass it. But Realtors are not the only ones who understand its importance. Here are some excerpts from what a majority of Florida’s largest newspapers have to say:
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SWFL International Airport Reports Record-Breaking Traffic in September

RSW REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING TRAFFIC
During September, 418,256 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW), an increase of 27.7 percent compared to September 2017. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 6.3 percent from the same period last year. Southwest Florida International Airport reported 9,256,500 passengers for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, breaking all records in the 35-year history of the airport. The traffic leader in September was Delta Air Lines with 93,483 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were American (72,983), Southwest (66,667), JetBlue (60,934) and United (39,986). Southwest Florida International Airport had 4,043 aircraft operations, a decrease of 4.9 percent compared to September 2017. Page Field saw 7,952 operations, a 45.5 percent increase from September 2017. In addition, slightly more than 2.3 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in September 2018.
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Florida Housing Market Continues Positive Track in Sept. 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 19, 2018 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more pending sales in September compared to a year ago – when Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017 – according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,087 last month, up 17 percent compared to September 2017.
September was the 81st month-in-a-row (over six and a half years) that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $251,610, up 4.9 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Thestatewide median price for condo-townhouse units in September was $182,500, up 5.5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
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Is Florida looking at a renter crisis if Amendment 2 fails?

Floridians will soon be considering a number of constitutional amendments that could drastically impact the state and its approximately 21 million residents. Chief among those ballot considerations is Amendment 2, which seeks to preserve the 10 percent cap on annual increases of non-homestead property taxes that has been in place for the last 10 years.

Non-homestead properties are properties that don’t serve as a person’s primary residence – and rental homes are one of the largest segments of non-homestead properties in Florida. According to the most recent Census estimates, rental homes house more than one-third of the state’s population currently – the highest amount since the 1980s.

“The really scary thing about Amendment 2 failing is the domino effect that will start to ripple through our communities, starting with our renters,” says Zach Sanchez, a broker for THINK Real Estate in Panama City Beach. “Many renters live on fixed incomes and don’t have much room in their budget to absorb a rent increase that is sure to come if property owners start seeing tax increases in excess of 10 percent a year.”

Florida voters approved the current 10 percent cap in 2008 as a way to solve an ongoing property tax crisis that was punishing non-homestead property owners and renters. According to data contained in a Revenue Estimating Conference analysis conducted in 2011, 30 percent of all non-homestead Florida properties were hit with an 80 percent tax increase in just one year – from 2005 to 2006. This meant a property valued at $300,000 in one year could be taxed at $540,000 or more the next. That same year, nearly 75 percent of all non-homestead properties in the state suffered an increase of more than 10 percent in value.

Vote “Yes” on Amendment 2!

Florida GDP hits $1 Trillion Mark!

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 16, 2018 – Florida’s gross domestic product topped $1 trillion Friday, an economic output that would make the Sunshine State the world’s 17th largest economy if it were an independent country, the state chamber said.

The milestone has been expected. University of Central Florida economic analyst Sean Snaith said the state has been strong in all areas of employment.
Florida’s economy has grown larger than Saudi Arabia’s, Switzerland’s and Argentina’s, the chamber said.
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Florida – Cities find new ways to regulate vacation home rentals

Thousands of vacation-home rentals in South Florida are being advertised online. So a software company is helping cities scour those sites to figure out which homes aren’t registered with local governments. The goal: to get them all registered and hold someone accountable if a party breaks out of control.

At least 17 of the websites feature Deerfield Beach properties, so the city’s hiring the company is a big help, said Eric Power, Deerfield Beach’s administration director. “We think it’s virtually impossible for [city] staff to do it on their own,” Power said.
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Florida Homes Sales, Median Prices Up in November

Florida’s housing market continued its positive track in November, with more closed sales, more new listings, more pending sales and rising median prices

Florida’s housing market continued its positive track in November, with more closed sales, more new listings, more pending sales and rising median prices according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 19,990 last month, up 1.3 percent compared to November 2016.
“In November, Florida’s housing market reflected the trends we’ve grown accustomed to seeing throughout this year,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “More owners decided to put their homes up for sale. New listings for single-family existing homes rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, while new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 5.9 percent. However, even with the increase in new listings, inventory was still tight and buyer demand was great. Homes continued to sell quickly, resulting in increased pending sales – up 5.5 percent for single-family homes and up 9.3 percent for condo-townhouse units.
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REPORT: FL SHOWS MORE ECONOMIC DIVERSITY

The state of Florida was more economically diverse in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016, according to a quarterly report issued by Florida Gulf Coast University’s Industry Diversification Project. Florida ranked as the 20th most diverse state, up from the 24th recorded one year ago.
Of Florida’s 24 workforce regions, Southwest Florida ranked 10th. Among Florida’s 20 metropolitan statistical areas, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island came in fourth, followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers at seventh and Punta Gorda at 20th. Diversification index rankings are computed quarterly around the time of the release of workforce data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the data is released with a six-month lag, the rankings refer to the state of the workforce for the second quarter of 2017, which spans April through June. Labor market data for the third quarter of 2017 will be released in March.  More information is available at lutgert.fgcu.edu/idp.

 

Florida has more homes under HOAs than any other state

Twenty-one percent of the U.S. population now resides in a community association, also known as planned communities (e.g. homeowners associations, condominium communities, and housing cooperatives), according to the 2016 National and State Statistical Review for Community Association Data (CAI), published by the Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR).
Florida continues to lead the nation’s community association housing model with 47,900 associations – home to 9.6 million residents.
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Gov. Scott proposes $1.7 billion in environmental projects for Florida

Gov. Rick Scott was in Naples Monday to tout his eighth and final budget, one that includes $1.7 billion for environmental programs.
“This funding includes historic investments in our iconic springs, world-renowned Everglades, award-winning state parks and beautiful beaches, which is especially important following impacts by Hurricane Irma,” Scott said. “I am also proud to be recommending $100 million to preserve and protect our natural lands, including $50 million for Florida Forever. Our natural treasures are so important to Florida’s economy and tourism industry and the many families that rely on them.”

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