Category Archives: Politics

We’re Here To Help You

As if the housing market slowdown were not enough to challenge local contractors, now Holmes Beach City has stopped issuing all building permits.

The City of Holmes Beach Commissioners decided the building department stop granting “requests for construction, reconstruction, or improvement of buildings or structures within the flood hazard areas” beginning February 12th. All building is halted while compliance is being studied and codes compared with other communities.

FEMA NFIP 50% improvement

Caught in this moratorium is a partly rebuilt 1950’s house. New walls, windows, and roof were constructed last month but work has now stopped. The city is considering that it may even have to be torn down again.

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Florida State Amendment 1 Opposition Continues

Those of us in the real estate business in our area fully understand the current market problems and we agree that Amendment 1 will not “jump start’ the real estate market as suggested by Tallahassee [state capital] and our media. It will possibly assist those sellers who plan to purchase a replacement home in our state.

Old Florida Cracker under a Poinciana tree We need to consider that the buyer of a home plans to reside and homestead in our state and if they’ll accept their initial tax bill. Also, it is not clear in the amendment if we’re able to assure a buyer if the homestead cap is to remain.

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Florida State Amendment 1 Passes the buck

In yesterday’s primary election voting, State Amendment 1 passed by 64.4%. As posted in an earlier report, the ‘tax-reshuffle’ :My Florida homestead

  • increases the homestead exemption except school district tax
  • allows homestead property owners to transfer up to $500,000 of their Save-Our-Homes benefits to their next homestead
  • for non-homestead property, provides a $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property (business property)
  • limits assessment increases for specified non-homestead real property except for school district tax

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Beach Renourishment Planned 2011

Living on a barrier island of sand entails building on a changing foundation. While nature is in flux and bends to the conditions, people continue to build rigid, immovable houses on the shore line. As the barrier island moves with the slow cycle of shifting sands the shore line shifts regardless of where the property lines were drawn.

Anna Maria Island aerial

Over the decades of building on the seashore, the ever shifting shoreline has been ‘restored’ by pumping sand back to replace lost beach. This is no small exercise and is very expensive. A beach renourishment in 2002 took almost a year and millions of dollars to expand the beach width and protect private properties along just 0.6 miles. A 4.6 mile renourishment in 2005 was plagued by delays and equipment obstructions.

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Florida State Amendment 1 Tax ReShuffle?

Added to Tuesday’s primary ballot is a proposed change to the way property taxes are assessed.

Currently, a rule of thumb is that taxes on real estate are nearly 2% of appraised value. Usually the appraised value is lower than market price and owners who live in their homes can claim a $25,000 deduction. The median price of Florida houses is about $300,000, so a home buyer could be paying $6,000 per year.

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