Legislatively Speaking

Legislatively Speaking


Photo of Claudette Bruck


Amendment 4 will be on the ballot on August 30, and, if passed, would exempt solar panels on commercial properties from real property taxes. In addition, solar panels and equipment installed on all properties would be exempt from tangible personal property tax under Amendment 4. Renewal energy devices and solar panels are currently exempt from real property taxes on residential properties.

Florida laws that became effective July 1st:

Active duty service personnel can expect a quicker response when applying for a residence, and, if denied the applicant must be told why. If the landlord or association fails to respond within 7 days they must lease the property to the service member.

A new line of sinkhole insurance that will cover moderate damage such as cracked walls and sinking floors may now be offered. Previously, only catastrophic loss coverage was available.

Finally a statewide water policy will become effective to protect and restore fresh water springs, etc.

No longer will a property owner be required to engage the services of an attorney or agent to contest the value placed on their property before the Value Adjustment Board; as the list of representatives has been expanded to include a real estate appraiser or broker.

The National Association of Realtors successfully worked with the FAA to eliminate the need for operators of a drone to hold a pilot’s license, allowing the use of drones in commercial applications by real estate professionals. Those using drones commercially will still have to apply with safety requirements.

FR’s continuing effort to phase out sales tax on commercial leases is gaining momentum as the Business rent Tax Coalition rallies companies in the state to support an overhaul of this unfair tax. As you know, Florida is the only state that charges a 6% sales tax on business leases, creating an unfair playing filed as Florida vies to bring new business here; and, an unfair burden on small businesses throughout Florida. While this has long been a priority for FR it has now become a priority for Florida Tax Watch; joining the Florida Chamber and Enterprise Florida.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is once again seeking a rate hike close to the 10% maximum allowed by law. Because other insurance companies serving Florida are seeking increases in excess of that amount, Citizens expects to write more policies in the future in spite of this increase.

Although Brexit comes with much uncertainty, it is expected that it will bring about increased investments in the United States. Interest in warehouse, industrial and office space is on the rise.

Claudette Bruck, Legislative Chair
FL CCIM Chapter


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