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By October 21, 2010No Comments

Here’s a short summary of information you can share with friends, family & colleagues about Amendment 4 and the serious threat it poses to property rights and Florida’s economy:

#1 – Amendment 4 is an Anti-Property Rights Amendment.

Amendment 4 was created by two environmentalists who do not respect private property rights. Amendment 4 seeks to strip all Floridians of a basic Constitutional protection of property rights – the protection offered by representative government – by creating a public referendum vote on private, individual land use opportunities. The idea of the public voting on individual property rights is no different from suggesting that the public vote in your city or county vote on your religious freedom, your gun rights – or your individual bank account/financial investments. Florida already has 2 layers of land use regulation – this proposes a third almost insurmountable burden for any land owner seeking to use or repurpose private land. They would be forced to run a political campaign, which most small property and business owners cannot afford to do. In requiring the public’s permission to use land, it effectively converts all private land in Florida to public property. Amendment 4 represents an unprecedented diminishment of property rights.

#2 – Amendment 4 will result in Higher Taxes.

As we have witnessed during the economic downturn, when property values drop –  local governments often look to raise taxes to handle budget shortfalls. Amendment 4 would result in massive devaluation of property across Florida and trigger a need to raise taxes. The prospective lawsuits filed Amendment 4’s impact on individual property owners could add hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in expenses to local government. The City of St. Pete Beach which adopted a local version of Amendment 4 experienced an extraordinary financial impact due to litigation. The cost of balloting citizens on individual land use issues would also increase the cost of elections. Ultimately it is Florida citizens who will bear the true cost of Amendment 4.

#3 – Amendment 4 will result in Lost Jobs.

An independent study of the economic impact of Amendment 4 indicated it is likely to cost Florida over 260,000 jobs and reduce Florida’s economic output by more than $34 billion per year. This Amendment has severe economic consequences that anyone with common sense can follow. There is no debate this Amendment will cost Floridians both current jobs and future job opportunities, during a national recession when Florida has a double digit unemployment rate. Hundreds of thousands of Florida families would be negatively impacted by these easily foreseeable job losses.

#4 – Amendment 4 will kill the American Dream for many Floridians.

There is a very personal human impact to Amendment 4 not being discussed in the media. It is about the basic right of individuals to work hard, save and invest in property in Florida – as they pursue their individual American Dream. Florida’s current multi-layer land use process is incredibly difficult for many small land owners and entrepreneurs seeking to start or build a new business today. Amendment 4 proposes a new cost and burden which would destroy the American Dream of many citizens who may not be able to afford to run a political campaign to convince voters to support their personal dream for their property. The proponents of Amendment 4 are choosing to ignore the fact that most big businesses in America started out small businesses – with one aspiring citizen with a dream of building a better life for his or her family.  Anyone who has attended local land use hearings sees these dreams brought forward every week. Amendment 4 would crush many of these dreams. Most average citizens cannot afford the costs of launching a new business and the costs of running a political campaign as well.

CPR invites its members and anyone who receives a copy of these “4 Fast Facts on Amendment 4” to contact our office at 407-481-2289 with questions about Amendment 4.  Our organizational focus is the protection of private property rights in Florida and Amendment 4 represents a threat to those basic Constitutional rights. We also believe our basic rights as American citizens are best protected by an informed and educated electorate.

Please feel free to pass this information on to your own e-networks. Join us this week in working to save private property rights in our state!

Carol Saviak
Executive Director
Coalition for Property Rights
2878 S. Osceola Avenue
Orlando, FL 32806
407-481-0834 fax

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