Scott Maxwell | Taking Names
Orlando Sentinel
September 27th, 2012

Many of you say you need guidance on this year’s constitutional amendments.

I understand why. Some of the ballot language is more confusing than a Chinese menu written upside down. In Hebrew.

So I am here to help — with plain language describing what these amendments would do.

I’ll break it down. You decide how to vote.

As a forward, you should know that none of these amendments came from your fellow, regular citizens. They all were created by legislators (who used to fuss when citizens did the same thing).

All told, legislators proposed 11 changes to the state’s constitution … though it gets even more confusing, because some of the amendments have multiple parts.

Each amendment would require a 60 percent vote to pass. Today we’ll look at the first five amendments. Next week, the last six.


Amendment 4 — Tax breaks for non-homestead properties. Right now, the property taxes on your home can’t go up by more than 3 percent a year. This amendment would provide a similar cap (of 5 percent) to businesses, vacation homes and rental properties as well. Budget analysts estimate it would cost local governments $1 billion over the first three years. That means either service cuts or tax increases for everyone else. The amendment also includes a tax break for first-time homeowners. Supporters say the tax breaks would stimulate growth and stabilize tax rates. Vote yes if you want to give tax breaks to businesses and second-homeowners — and are willing to either pay more in taxes or have fewer services to make up the difference.

Read the full article online here

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