Eminent DomainLawNews

Report puts Amendment 4 pricetag at $1B

By October 7, 2010 No Comments
A new report by Florida TaxWatch is estimating that if Amendment 4 passes on Nov. 2, it could eventually cost more than $1 billion to state taxpayers.The Tallahassee-based non-partisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog said the proposed change to the state constitution — which would require any comprehensive land-use plan changes proposed by a property owner or developer to go to a public vote before getting approved — reported that the increased costs to local governments to run special elections and the likely ensuing litigation costs would be heavy. And those costs would be passed along to taxpayers.

See the report here.

However, at least one member of the opposition said this report is heavily flawed. Winter Park Commissioner Beth Dillaha, who supports Amendment 4, said the report was based on inaccurate information and “constitutes a gross disservice to the voting public who rely upon true information and facts in order to confidently complete their ballots.”

Dillaha offered the following counter points in an e-mailed response:

• Not all comprehensive plan changes/amendments would go to the voters. Only developments/projects requiring land-use changes that are approved by city/county elected officials would go to the voters. That is anticipated, by state Department of Community Affairs to be 2.5 per year.

• No special elections would be required as those approved amendments would be placed on the ballot of the next regularly scheduled election just as charter amendments are.

• This is no more “hyper democracy” than the legal requirement for voters to approve bond and taxation issues and governance (charter) changes.

• There would be no litigation costs with Amendment 4 because voters would have the legal right to approve or veto council-approved developments that do not adhere to growth management plans.

Read more: Report puts Amendment 4 pricetag at $1B – Tampa Bay Business Journal

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