Florida Conservation Property Tax Exemptions, Amendment 4 (2008)

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The Florida Conservation Property Tax Exemptions Amendment, also known as Amendment 4 was a commission referral on the November 4, 2008 election ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

Election results

Florida Conservation Property Tax Exemptions, Amendment 4 (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 4,875,162 68.56%
No2,235,96931.44%

Election Results via: Florida Department of State Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS NOT AFFECTING THE ASSESSED VALUE OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY[1][2]

The ballot summary read:

Requires Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for real property encumbered by perpetual conservation easements or other perpetual conservation protections, defined by general law. Requires Legislature to provide for classification and assessment of land used for conservation purposes, and not perpetually encumbered, solely on the basis of character or use. Subjects assessment benefit to conditions, limitations, and reasonable definitions established by general law. Applies to property taxes beginning in 2010.[1][2]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment can be read in the ballot pamphlet.

Support

Supporters

Supporters included:

  • Governor Crist[3]
  • The Nature Conservancy[4]
  • Citizens for Conservation Land[4], a coalition of state and national environmental organizations that have joined together, including the Florida Wildlife Federation, Audubon of Florida and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Allied Sportsmen's Association of Florida
  • Bream Fishermen Association
  • Jim Fowler, television host of Mutual Omaha's Wild Kingdom
  • Sierra Club, Florida Chapter
  • Reef Relief
  • Tampa Audubon Society

Arguments

Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • The measure provides a powerful incentive for more private landowners to engage in conserving Florida's forests, waters and wildlife.[4]
  • The measure would help to preserve the Everglades and protecting iconic species like the Florida panther.[4]
  • It's simple and low-cost[4]

Opposition

Opponents

  • League of Women Voters

Arguments in Opposition

Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • "This amendment does not link land-use planning to conservation and would further limit the ability of local governments to obtain revenue from real estate (their primary source of revenue)."[5]
  • Amendment 4 would create a property tax exemption for land under perpetual conservation protection. Although this measure will result in tax relief for some property owners, opponents argue that over the long term this policy could deter beneficial economic expansion as more land is taken out of development.

Media editorial positions

Support

  • Miami Herald
  • Orlando Sentinel

See also

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References

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named summary
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. Herald Tribune: "Crist endorses Amendment 4," Oct 27, 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The Nature Conservancy: "The Nature Conservancy Endorses Amendment 4 for Florida's Conservation," Sep 25, 2008
  5. Positions on the Issues, League of Women Voters, Sarasota County