Florida TaxWatch Report Uncovers Crippling Costs of Amendment 4

Cost to taxpayers could climb to over $1 billion, group reports

Palm Coast, FL – October 6, 2010 – (Orlando) A report released yesterday by the non-profit, non-partisan Florida TaxWatch exposes the soaring costs of Amendment 4, a measure that has drawn diverse and nearly-universal opposition from Florida’s leading Editorial Boards, business groups, tea parties, unions, civic organizations and Gubernatorial candidates. The TaxWatch report, which predicts that the costs of Amendment 4 could soar into the billions, can be read here.
"Florida TaxWatch confirms that Amendment 4 is a billion dollar tax hike waiting to happen," said Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. "The worst part is that taxpayers will foot the bill for an amendment that top economists predict will put more than a quarter-of-a-million Floridians out of work. In the midst of a crushing recession, the last thing we need is Amendment 4."
In addition to the multi-million dollar costs of referenda, TaxWatch uncovered the hidden costs of Amendment 4: Frequent, and seemingly endless, taxpayer-funded litigation. According to TaxWatch, local case studies suggest that Florida taxpayers are likely to face costly litigation resulting from the passage of Amendment 4, which could exceed $1 billion.
…the fiscal impact of Amendment 4 likely totals tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, if not hundreds of millions, at a time when Floridians are experiencing the most severe economic recession and highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression and can least afford additional government operating expenses. (Florida TaxWatch, October 5, 2010)
"Read the fine print on Amendment 4," said Ryan Houck, executive director of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy. "It says ‘expenditures cannot be estimated precisely.’ That’s code for ‘they’re not sure how many millions — or billions — it’s going to cost.’ It doesn’t matter how they say it — taxpayers would be stuck with the bill."

Dr. Henry Fishkind, a Florida economist, argued in a radio interview that Amendment 4 would inundate voters with thousands of pages of technical planning data, and promote greater politicization of the planning process. Additionally, Fishkind goes on to refute a pro-Amendment 4 argument that comprehensive land use plan allowing for additional growth and development are easily amended. Fishkind said they are not, on the contrary, he argues that they are difficult to amend and need to be updated all the time. Fishkind argues that setting limitations on amending such plans could be problematic. The full radio interview can be heard here.
Toby’s Commentary:  Please take the time to listen to the Fishkind radio interview. Fishkind is highly respected and has no axe to grind.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply