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Florida’s Busy Ballot

So far there are going to be 9 Ballot Initiatives on the Florida general election ballot:

  1. Wants to stop the government from preventing rich foreigners from buying up Florida.
  2. Make Gays third class citizens [in a state in which a “boy and his goat” is still legal]. No indication as to how this is going to save marriage in a state with no-fault divorce that can be applied for over the ‘Net.
  3. Actually a good idea, as it exempts improvements designed to increase resistance to hurricane damage, or the installation of green technology from an increase in assessed value.
  4. Reduce property taxes for soil bank scam artists and others who are using conservation schemes to avoid taxes.
  5. Another attempt to shift costs from property taxes to sales taxes, this time aimed at schools.
  6. Not a bad idea, as it requires that assessment of waterfront property be based on current use, not on its value as a location for a 20-story tourist hotel. It might help a few marinas and boatyards stay in business.
  7. Get rid of the ban to giving tax money to churches.
  8. Shift Community College funding to a local sales tax increase.
  9. Tells schools how to operate while providing a backdoor for vouchers by overriding a court decision.

I’ll give 3 and 6 an extra look, but the rest of this detritus should be put out to the road.  They keep trying to shift the cost of government onto the sales tax, usually implying that tourists will pay for the state.  Well sales tax revenue is way down, tourism is way down, and sales taxes fall mainly on the poor, while property taxes affect the well off.

11 comments

1 Badtux { 06.29.08 at 12:22 am }

My policy on ballot initiatives is a flat “NO” to all of’em. I don’t have the time or a paid staff to research the economic effects of all these damned things. I already pay someone who does have the time and paid staff, whose job is to say yay or nay on laws, I’m talking about my legislator of course. I damn well expect him to do his job and resent mightily every goddamn time those bastids try to make me do their jobs.

The only time I make an exception is when the new ballot initiative overturns an old ballot initiative. When overturning Proposition 13 comes on the ballot, I will vote for it in pride — that’s the main reason why California has such a housing shortage, Prop 13 basically sets it up so people can’t afford to move because then they’d get a new property tax assessment based on current value, not one from 20 years ago. So you got old farts stuck in properties too big for them but they can’t afford to move because they’d end up paying too much property tax if they did… or else they move out-of-state, but then ya gotta live amongst the heathen. Ugh!

Anywho: I pay my legislator to pass laws. I ain’t gonna do his job for him, and I wish he’d quit sending me these goddamn initiatives and askin’ me to do his job for him. ‘Nuff said.

— Badtux the “It ain’t my job” Penguin

2 Bryan { 06.29.08 at 1:04 am }

I hear that, ‘Tux. The Florida budget is micromanaged by ballot initiatives and restrictions. Locally, one of the schools has a room filled with brand new, never been out of the box computers, but there’s no money available to pay for the electricity if they use them, and more importantly, no money to pay for the repairs to that room that would stop the water from leaking in.

The district had money in the “technology” budget, but doesn’t have the money in the utilities or maintenance budgets to create a resource, and they stand to lose a grant to connect those computers to the ‘Net.

Some of these things are forced on the ballot by earlier initiatives that require them to be submitted to the voters before the legislature can do them, but most are attempts to avoid responsibility for bad ideas that are going to be disasters.

3 cookie jill { 06.29.08 at 12:21 pm }

We got you beat here in CA…we’ve got 11 (not including the local issues that will be on ballots)

4 Bryan { 06.29.08 at 3:03 pm }

That’s the total as of Friday, there’s still time for more of them to make the ballot. I have no idea right now what has qualified for the local ballot, but there’s always something. There are even worse measures waiting in the wings, all premised on the fallacy that there is a free lunch.

5 cookie jill { 06.29.08 at 6:52 pm }

Welcome to our ballot measure hell….

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm

6 Bryan { 06.29.08 at 8:03 pm }

As Badtux says, why have a legislature?

7 LeftLeaningLady { 06.30.08 at 8:21 am }

I vote NO on everything, except the Constitutional Amendment that made it more difficult to amend Florida’s Constitution!

That damn Pig Penning Amendment still makes me cringe, although I may be the only person who remembers it.

8 Bryan { 06.30.08 at 8:58 am }

What do you have against pregnant pigs? 😉

It’s another way of avoiding responsibility and behalf of the politicians.

9 Colin at Buying FloridaProperty { 06.30.08 at 3:43 pm }

Bryan

Please reconsider your “no” vote to #1 – in the Orlando area we currently have around 2 years’ inventory of homes, so the prospect of rich foreigners buying up stuff is a welcome one to homeowners concerned about falling house prices.

And even more important, making it harder for legislators to mess with things is something to value, in my view!

Colin

10 Bryan { 06.30.08 at 4:54 pm }

Colin, the prohibition is for foreigners not eligible for citizenship, which generally translates as drug lords and such.

Up at this end we have a lot of properties owned by Canadians and Germans. Nothing’s going to sell until the prices descend to the level of reality.

11 10 Stories to Read { 07.01.08 at 12:14 am }

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