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Vote Yes on Amendment 4

October 20, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

I read Mr. Eberz's letter on Amendment 4 with much interest and, while I appreciate his desire to educate the public on this important issue, I feel the need to make sure we have all the facts straight before we vote.

Mr. Eberz states that the Legislature found the fiscal impact to be $273 million. First, as a state legislator who voted for this bill, I have reviewed the fiscal impact and it's likely much less than $273 million. The key here is "potential" revenue. The repeal of the recapture rule and lowering the non-homestead assessment cap to 5 percent annually slows the potential for local government to take more money; it does not cut a single dime of current taxes.

While the new homebuyer incentive would impact local taxes revenue, i.e. the possible $237 million, what this doesn't take into account is the cost/benefit of passing this Amendment. The Florida Legislature will begin implementing "dynamic scoring" next year when examining revenue and fiscal impacts. This takes into account other economic influences and paints a more accurate picture of what is at stake.

A Florida TaxWatch study does just that, showing that the passage of Amendment 4 could sell up to an additional 383,000 homes, create 20,000 jobs and increase personal wealth by $5.3 billion. This translates to money saved by our taxpayers, while still having a positive impact on the local economy through an increased tax base and a more vibrant housing market.

I encourage voters to vote Yes on Amendment 4 this November. Amendment 4 brings much needed fairness and equity to our property tax system.

Matt Caldwell

State Representative, District 73



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