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.