Florida Realtors put another $1.5 million in Amendment 4 campaign

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The Florida Association of Realtors and a national group have plowed another $1.5 million into their campaign to pass a constitutional amendment this fall to further limit property taxes, new campaign finance reports via the News Service of Florida show.

The money was contributed in late August and early September to “Taxpayers First,” a political committee that is seeking to convince voters to pass Amendment 4 on the November ballot. The Florida Association of Realtors wrote a $1 million check, and the National Association of Realtors chipped in $500,000, the reports show.

Earlier in the year, the Florida Association of Realtors contributed slightly more than $2 million to Taxpayers First. John Sebree, a senior vice president of the Florida Association of Realtors, is listed in state records as chairman of Taxpayers First.

Amendment 4 would prevent property assessments from going up when the value of property goes down, an issue related to the state’s Save Our Homes law. Also, it would reduce from 10 percent to 5 percent the cap on annual assessment increases on non-homesteaded properties, such as vacation homes. Taxpayers First is touting the amendment as helping create jobs and bolster the economy. “Amendment 4 means more money in your wallet,” one of the group’s mailers says.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.