Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Save money on batteries, generators, flashlights, fans, portable radios and other storm-related supplies during this period when you won’t be paying sales tax on these items. Florida residents are expected to save about $25-MM in sales taxes during this period.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Plans for Crocker Partners to create a downtown Boca Raton pedestrian “spine which will include stores, shops, a hotel, offices and restaurants to create a pedestrian-friendly area with green space to attract walkers, are moving ahead now. The CEO, Tom Crocker says he has the backing of about 50% of downtown property owners for this Sandborn Square development, and is still working towards accord with one of the city’s largest landlords, who owns the Royal Palm Place shopping plaza at the south end of the city, which is planned to connect with Mizner Park. Two city blocks in downtown Boca will be involved. An architectural firm has been hired. The city, under Crocker Partners’ proposal, could authorize creation of a self-taxing community development district, which would be devoted to the spine road and public parking, then requiring no outlay of city money nor the need for bonds. Estimate from the city for the cost of the spine is about $30-MM.
Stage 1 and Stage 2 aircraft, weighing less than 75,000 lbs., are considered the noisiest of the small jets. Currently, an amendment to a bill that would phase out these aircraft has been approved by the US Senate Commerce Committee. Owners and operators of these craft would have a 5-year time frame either to discontinue operations or retrofit the planes with quieter engines. The Boca Airport has some Stage 2 planes based at the airfield, but no Stage 1 planes. Boca Airport is a member of the national organization, “Sound Initiative: A Coalition for Quieter Skies,” formed by airports and supported by local governments and anti-noise proponents. A noise abatement report and a committee to handle noise complaints were created a few years ago as a result of the aircraft noise from the Boca Airport. Next the bill goes to the Finance Committee for consideration, and then a House version will be considered.
Friday, May 11, 2007
With construction back on track and completion expected by the end of the year, there will be 65,000 books and 7,000 other media (DVD’s and CD’s). Computers will be purchased and there will be 2 computer labs, one for children and the other for adults. Another new library is planned on a parcel of land just north of the existing downtown facility at 100 NW Second Avenue.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
PROPERTY TAX – “where it is” on 5-4-07
The Florida Legislature suspended negotiations on Save Our Homes portability, rollbacks and other property tax reform proposals until next month when lawmakers return to Tallahassee for a 10-day special session from June 12-June 22. Both sides have already agreed on two FAR-supported tax relief measures - $25,000 exemption on personal intangible property for small businesses and some form of Save Our Homes portability (terms not released). Sources say that so far there is agreement on cutting property taxes by about $20-$25-billion over 5 years; no sales tax increase; some form of Save our Homes portability.
To write your legislator send an email to http://floridarealtors.org - see Legislative Center.
Legislators made it easier for certain property owners to get insurance from Citizens which is now Florida’s largest insurer with 1.3 million policyholders. Property owners will be allowed into the Citizens pool if the only insurance they could obtain on the private market was 15% more expensive than what they would pay Citizens. Citizens rates would freeze through 2008. On Jan 1, 2009, Citizens would again be allowed to raise rates.
Homes valued at over $750,000 and located in high-risk zones will be required to install opening protections as of July 1, 2008 if they seek a building permit for work estimated at $50,000 or more. By 1/1/2009, all homes valued at over $750,000 in high-risk zones must be fitted wit opening protections to remain eligible for Citizens coverage. This is to help reduce some of the risk in the event of a devastating storm. Free inspections of 400,000 single-family homes is called for and grants and loan are provided to certain homeowners to make improvements to strengthen their home against storms.
Home inspectors, mold remediators and mold assessors will be required to be licensed by the Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation as of July 1, 2010 IF SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.
Landlords are limited to a financial penalty when a tenant breaks a lease of two months of rent for leases of less than a year. Effective at once IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS IT.
Mortgage brokers and lenders will now have many disclosure and education requirements to help protect consumers during the mortgage loan application process. This bill includes additional enforcement and investigative tools for prosecuting mortgage fraud. The definition of “primary title services” and “related title services” will be amended and a civil court case codified that permits a portion of a title insurance premium to be rebated IF SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.