Life

Top 5 reasons why we shouldn’t let Florida voters decide on Property Taxes

Posted on March 22, 2007. Filed under: Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Clearwater Beach Real Estate Report, Florida Property Taxes, Life, Marc Rutenberg Homes, New Construction Projects in Tampa Bay, New Port Tampa, Trump Tower Tampa, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News, Westshore Yacht Club |

I’m glad to see that Florida property taxes and the negative effects of the “Save Our Homes” amendment are finally being addressed in this year’s legislative sessions. What concerns me the most however is that the new house proposals are leaning toward letting the voters decide on the new property tax structure. I have 5 top reasons why we shouldn’t let voters decide.

1. One needs to remember that it was the Florida voters that got us into this unfair property tax mess to begin with when they passed the “Save Our Homes” amendment back in 1992.

2. Amendments tend to get approved by “headlines” or misleading proposal names like “Save Our Homes” and can get us into a bigger mess than we started with.

3. A voter approved amendment will take to long. If we let individual counties approve whatever they want it will take to 2010 and beyond. We need relief yesterday.

4. What happens if the voter amendment does fix what was broken when it is passed? Look how long its taken to discover that the “Save Our Homes” amendment was a mistake.

5. What happens if the amendment doesn’t pass? Then we are back to square one and have lost the momentum for real tax relief.

Why don’t we set out to fix the problem that was started back in 1992. I’m proposing that we go back to that year’s property base and then add back 3% per year for inflation and whatever percentage the growth rate has been for those years to arrive at the amount are taxes would be today had the “Save Our Homes” never got passed in the first place. Then going forward we cap government spending every year to 3% plus growth rate instead of capping homesteaded property. This would bring much needed relief to second home owners, vacation properties and business owners. We could still keep the $25,000 homestead principle in place but the yearly cap of 3% would no longer be needed because of the cap on government growth. This would eliminate the problems and tax inequality that “Save Our Homes” has brought. Sometimes its the things that are the simplest that makes the most sense in solving complex problems. If you would like to contact your legislator about the recent tax proposals a county by county list is at http://politics.tampabay.com or visit www.tomburkett.com

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Zen Bistro Grill & Sushi Bar at The Avenue of Westchase

Posted on March 16, 2007. Filed under: Highland Park, Life, Local Entertainment, Local Restuarants, Tampa Bay area Restuarant Reviews, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News |

Last night I finally got the chance to try out Zen Bistro in Westchase. What a pleasant surprise. A quaint little bistro tucked in the corner of the new Avenue of Westchase just east of West Park Village. My daugthers and I are always on the look out for great local restaurants in the Westchase area and we have found one at Zen. First off, if you love sushi as much has we do then you must try Zen Bistro. We ordered the “Sixth Sense” roll which is Spicy tuna, avocado, tempura onion, wrapped in rice paper and toppped with more spicy tuna, tobiko, and wasabi tobiko. What a delight! We also enjoyed the “Dragon” roll which is spicy tuna, tempura flakes, cucumber, topped with tuna, masago scallion and spicy mayo. We can’t wait to go back and try their “Art Meditation” roll which is chunks of tuna marinated in chili sesame oil and lime sauce with fresh asian herbs and slaw atop a california roll. The atmosphere was surprising upscale and done with serene zen garden boxes set into the floor with a neon light display that gave the bistro a very modern but relaxing feeling. Our waiter Rick was very attentive and made some nice recommendations. We will definitely be coming back.

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Real Estate Update 3/15/2007

Posted on March 16, 2007. Filed under: Belle Harbor on Clearwater Beach, Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Clearwater Beach Real Estate Report, Highland Park, JMC Developments, Life, Manadaly Beach Club - Clearwater Beach, Marc Rutenberg Homes, New Construction Projects in Tampa Bay, New Port Tampa, Trump Tower Tampa, Uncategorized, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News, Westshore Yacht Club |

There’s been a lot of interesting news out the past two days so I’m combining them into one article.

2007 FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

One hand may not know what the other hand is doing: The Florida House wants to get rid of property taxes; at the same time, however, it has told local school boards to increase property taxes if they need more money to operate. Read complete story.

In Tallahassee yesterday, the Senate began their debate on property tax reform, focusing on a priority of commercial Realtors to change the tax basis of “highest and best use” to one that considers how a property is actually used. In the House, debate continued as Democrats offered their own reform plan.

Read the full story

SUBPRIME MORTGAGES

Subprime mortgage market troubles already make it more difficult for some homebuyers to secure a mortgage, but fear of a broad collapse has caused Congress to consider tougher standards for the industry.

Read the full storyMORTGAGES

HUD is preparing to punish some subprime mortgage lenders under investigation for discriminatory practices it announced yesterday. HUD also suggested that the largest mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, should consider giving strapped homeowners more time to make their payments.

Read the full story

CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE

Florida officials approved a new business plan for Citizens Property Insurance, allowing the state-run insurer to be more competitive and offer some savings to policyholders. Under the plan, Citizens will offer a complete policy that covers windstorm damage, as well as fire, theft and liability.

Read the full storyREAL ESTATE FORECAST

The real estate market faces unique conditions right now, such as the subprime mortgage market problem and unusual weather. Consequently, NAR predicts that things will likely get better this year but hesitates to say exactly when that turnaround will occur.

Read Full story

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Tampa Bay’s Premier Mortgage Broker

Posted on March 13, 2007. Filed under: Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Life, New Construction Projects in Tampa Bay |

I wanted to introduce everyone to one of Tampa’s Premier Mortgage Broker’s in the Tampa Bay Area. His name is Mike Carrier and he specializes in contruction loans and purchase money mortgages in Tampa and is based out of the Carrollwood office. I’ve known Mike for years and feel very comfortable referring my Real Estate clients to him. I know they will receive the best service and I can feel secure knowing that the loan will be approved. He is definitely a valued Partner of “The Burkett Collection. He can be reached at 813.391.5356 or email him at michael_carrier@countrywide.com

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