Here’s a prediction: the tax reform amendment will fail.

Yup. I know it’s not necessarily a bold prediction of what’s going to happen on January 29th. The usual suspects are lined up on either side: labor unions (including firefighters and teachers) against the GOP’s big business base.

There have been some news stories and blog posts that make me think it will happen.

First, we all know there has been a downturn in the real estate market. In fact, Miami and Tampa saw 12% declines in home prices. And there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. One of the big reasons for this proposal was because people are “trapped in their homes.” Well, it would appear the economy will not help much.

Okay, but property taxes are still going to drop like a rock, right? Well, maybe not. It appears the savings will be less than they expected — about 25% less as of now.

In the span of a day’s worth of number-crunching, state economists Friday shaved nearly $3.2 billion off the value of the plan because the worsening economy is dragging down property values and indicates homeowners won’t take much advantage of the proposal’s centerpiece: ”portability” to transfer tax exemptions to a new primary residence.

Oh, and remember local governments still have the power to raise their millage rates to make up for the lost revenue. In Hillsborough County, that could be another 17% off the top of your savings.

Then, there is this from Naked Politics:

The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce today announced its opposition to Amendment 1, the property tax amendment that voters will decide on Jan. 29th.

The group, whose chairman-elect for 2008 is big-time GOP fundraiser and lobbyist Mike Hightower, held a press conference where it said that passage of Amendment 1 will ultimately lead politicians to raise taxes on businesses because they are lessening the burden on homeowners.

Then, despite Governor Crist’s insistence that the homestead exemption will be doubled, it won’t be. Because the new exemption doesn’t apply to school taxes, the real “net” effect is less-than-doubling.

Um. Hmmm. So the homeowners’ benefits really aren’t as great as we were led to believe. And at least one business group understands the implications.

Not exactly reasons for people leaping at the chance to vote for this baby.

So I will go out on a limb and say Amendment One will not get the 60% required to pass.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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One Response to Here’s a prediction: the tax reform amendment will fail.

  1. Will says:

    Im not sure that the numbers are that accurate pertaining to the portability factor. They are basing it on the premise that the same number of people will move as are currently moving. In Fact the percentage of people moving will likely increase by 10-20% within a year if this passes. So the amount of the tax cut would likely go back over $12 billion.

    That said, i only give this amendment a 50% chance of reaching the necessary 60%. The polls show it between 50% and 58% for, and 245-26% against. Its close, and it depends on the undecideds and turnout overall.

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