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Bomsa Damgaard

We are deeply saddened to share with you all that on October 7th Bomsa Damgaard, one of our longest-tenured Realtors®, passed away.

Bomsa was an exemplary agent and a pleasure to work with, but more importantly, he was an excellent friend and person. He will be greatly missed and we ask that you keep his family in your thoughts during this difficult time. His friends and loved ones have our sincere condolences from everyone in the Ferro Real Estate Partners family.

2016 Florida Real Estate Legislative Issues

Florida Real Estate Legislature

 

The world of Real Estate in Florida is multifaceted, with several important factors and factions working to change the landscape, and one of the avenues to keep up with in order to maintain knowledge and success is the work done by the Florida Realtors® regarding legislative issues.

2016 is no different, and Florida Realtors® have unveiled a plan of attack this upcoming year regarding their main foci in the legislature, as well as ongoing initiatives to improve the condition of real estate professionals and owners in the state of Florida. Those issues, in no particular order, can be found and subsequently summarized below:

1) Begin a phase-out of the current sales tax on business rent
– Commercial leases are subject to a 6% tax on rent and expenses, and Florida Realtors® seeks a continuous reduction of that tax year over year until it is completely eliminated. Florida is the only state that maintains a sales tax on commercial leases.

2) Enact tougher penalties for crimes against real estate agents
– Data indicates that attacks against Realtors® are up 500% over a three-year period and Florida Realtors® supports stricter penalties on violent offenders who attack a “broker”, “broker associate”, or “sales associate” while they are showing a property.

3) Increase funding of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds
– The Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds provide an important service in the form on housing assistance to the elderly, persons with disabilities and low-income families. The money appropriated for these housing services are both an important step in preventing homelessness and also provide jobs and generate positive economic impact throughout the state of Florida.

4) Cap fees charged by community associations for estoppel certificates
– Florida laws allows for a “reasonable” fee to prepare an estoppel certificate for what is essentially an owner’s financial statement. This ambiguity can be misconstrued into a revenue stream, however, for some associations and so Florida Realtors® is working to cap the maximum amount for owners who are current on payments. This issue affects hundreds of thousands of property owners in HOA and COA communities.

5) Restore Florida’s water resources while protecting property rights.
– Florida Realtors® would like to see a water policy that provides plentiful and clean water while also protecting Florida’s water resources, as demand for water that is healthy and readily available will only increase as the population of Florida rises. Florida Realtors® advocates for a policy that maintains the state’s natural beauty and works to keep our bodies of water free from pollutants.

For a more comprehensive look at these legislative issues at the forefront of Florida Realtors® collective efforts, access http://www.floridarealtors.org/ and look up Top Initiatives under the Legislative Center on their website.

We hope these common-sense policy positions can work for Florida real estate, and provide a strong economic foundation moving forward for the thousands of real estate professionals across the state of Florida.

 

Sales Tax Reduction on Commercial Leases in Governor’s Budget!

As many of you know, Florida Commercial Realtors (including myself) have been lobbying our elected officials to eliminate sales tax on leases. Tenants even have to pay sales tax on property tax payments that they make as part of the lease. Individual owners who lease their buildings to their own businesses pay sales tax. It’s insane. We are one of two states in the nation that charge sales tax on leases. The other is New York. The Governor announced that he is including in his proposed budget a 1% reduction (from 6% to 5%) for these leases. The idea would be to phase the tax out over the next 6 years (1% per year) until it’s gone. It’s estimated that sales tax on leases costs the State about 185,000 jobs. Please read the article below that I received from Florida Realtors.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 28, 2014 – Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined commercial Realtors and other business owners today to announce that his proposed state budget, which will be released tomorrow, includes $100 million to support a reduction in the state’s sales tax on commercial leases.

“As governor, my mission is to make Florida the No. 1 place in the nation to live, work and play,” Scott told the crowd of more than 50 area businesspersons gathered at Conway Ace Hardware in Orlando. “Florida is the only state that imposes a 6 percent sales tax on commercial leases. That’s why I’m proud to announce today that, as part of my ‘It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget,’ we propose a $100 million reduction in the sales tax on commercial rent.”

The economic impact of a $100 million reduction in this tax would provide a $500 million value to Floridians in terms of jobs and economic activity, research indicates. Currently, businesses in the state pay a tax on commercial rent and other lease-related charges, such as insurance premiums, property taxes and common-area maintenance fees for such things as landscaping, janitorial services and building repairs.

Florida Realtors 2014 President Sherri Meadows was on-hand for the governor’s announcement.

“Most companies relocating to the Sunshine State are surprised to learn that Florida charges a 6 percent sales tax on commercial real estate leases,” said Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. “For Florida to be competitive with other states and online retailers, and considered pro-business by prospective employers and companies seeking to relocate, we must reduce – and eventually eliminate – the sales tax on commercial leases. Doing so will create jobs and is critical to our state’s economic growth and development. We appreciate Governor Scott for recognizing the importance of reducing this tax.”

Two bills filed for the 2014 Florida legislative session would begin a phase out of the tax: SB 176 by Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) and HB 11 by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Bradenton) would lower the rate from 6 percent to 5 percent. Florida Realtors, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other business groups support the initiatives.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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