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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding the Special Session on Property Tax Reform

June 13, 2007

TALLAHASSEE —“Florida legislators are once again engaged in a healthy debate to find long-term solutions to ease the pain home and  business owners have been experiencing from unreasonable and escalating property taxes.   Associated Industries is urging lawmakers to support reforms that result in a meaningful rollback in property taxes, while also recognizing the infrastructure and service needs of growing communities.  These reforms must offer real relief to all residential and business property owners in order to achieve fair and meaningful progress.

“AIF encourages elected leaders to fashion their plan based on the level-headed guiding principles offered by Florida TaxWatch.  Lawmakers should spend this special session focused only on the most pressing property tax dilemmas facing our state by crafting a plan based on the following elements:

  • Approval of the Governor’s proposed $34 billion rollback;
  • A cap on spending for state and local governments;
  • Establishment of allowances for local governments to provide the necessary services/infrastructure to support business,  job and population growth; and
  • Fair and equitable treatment to all taxpayers including homesteaders, businesses and non-homesteaders

“Addressing these most immediate needs first will get the ball rolling toward long overdue tax relief in Florida.  In the coming months and during the next regular session, legislators can then deal with a multitude of other challenges including property appraisal standards, Value Adjustment Board revisions in the appeal process, local government savings accounts.  Any constitutional amendments should be addressed in another special session if the goal is to place new proposals on the January 29th Presidential ballot.

Associated Industries commends state leaders for their commitment to the people of this state, and their work ahead to ensure Floridians are no longer faced with unaffordable property tax bills on their homes and businesses.  AIF also supports the position that is currently in the proposal offered by the House and Senate Democrats to bring relief to all taxpayers including businesses and non-homesteaders, who continue to suffer the brunt of property tax increases as a result of the Save Our Homes amendment.  Everyone must share in any new property tax restructuring, if it is going to be fair and equitable.”