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Saturday, June 09, 2007

$15.6 billion in Immediate Tax Relief and Reform -Tampa, Fl

Marco RubioSpeaker, Florida House of Representatives

$15.6 billion in Immediate Tax Relief and Reform (Statutory Changes)

* Beginning this year, every category of property taxpayer will benefit from the cut and the cap that the statute imposes.

* All cities and counties will be required to cut taxes in the upcoming 2007-2008 fiscal year to the 2006-2007 revenue levels. These local governments will then be required to make an additional cut of 3%, 5%,7% or 9%.

The level of cuts will be determined by a formula that analyzes their taxing performance over the past 5 years, measured against a statewide average.

* Special taxing districts and fiscally limited cities and counties willbe required to cut taxes to the 2006-2007 revenue levels and make anadditional cut of 3%.

* A cap on future property tax revenues (based on the rate of personal income growth and new construction) will be imposed to ensure that government cannot grow faster than personal income.

* Local governments may override the cut and the cap. The method for the override will vary based on the magnitude of the local government's action (escalating from a super majority vote of the local governing body, to a unanimous vote of the local governing body, to a referendum).

$16 billion in Further Tax Relief and Reform (Constitutional Amendment)

* The estimated average savings for a homestead property (combining statutory and constitutional changes) will be $1,300 in 2008-2009. This average savings represents a 44% reduction.

* "Save our Homes" is replaced with a new "super exemption". An estimated 73% of homesteaded properties will receive a greater benefitunder this new exemption.

* The new "super exemption" will be as follows:

* Level 1: Homestead Property will receive an exemption of 75% of the first $200,000 in value of the home. The minimum exemption is $50,000per homestead.

* Level 2: In addition to Level 1, homestead property will obtain another 15% exemption for the next $300,000 in value.

* We will grandfather the tax savings and assessment cap for the minority of property owners who have greater benefits under the current"Save our Homes" plan.

* We will preserve all existing constitutional exemptions based on special circumstances, including those now provided to disabled veterans, low income seniors and agricultural lands.

* Because the tax base for all taxing authorities will decline under the constitutional amendment, the fiscal analyses reflects a reduction in school funding. We intend to hold schools harmless from these cuts.

Other Constitutional ChangesThere has been agreement to address remaining issues such as additional relief to low income elderly taxpayers, offering incentives foraffordable housing and providing tax reform for "working waterfronts" and small businesses.

Small businesses will receive a $25,000 tangiblepersonal property tax (TPP) exemption resulting in a total exemption for$1 million of the 1.3 million businesses who must pay this tax. Furthermore, those who receive a total exemption on their TPP will never have to file the burdensome paperwork associated with the tax again.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

34 buyers suing to get deposits back from condo project-Tampa, Fl

34 buyers suing to get deposits back from condo project
By: Dave Balut
Tampa, Fl. -

The Channelside District as seen from one of the large parking garages across the street.

A new condo project called The Place At Channelside is almost finished, but now some buyers are trying to bail out. 34 buyers are suing developers of The Place At Channelside to get out of their contracts and get their deposits back.

Real estate investor Cindy Cicala says construction has taken a lot longer than she anticipated so she’s no longer ahead of the curve on the real estate market in Channelside.

Cindy Cicala, Real Estate Attorney:
“I feel very deceived. I feel like they haven’t fulfilled their contract. I just signed a contract based on certain things and they haven’t fulfilled it so I would just like my money back."
Architect Marc Van Steenlandt says delays in construction at The Place at Channelside were caused by problems getting building materials like PVC pipe after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He showed us one of the units that’s finished and says some owners will start closing June 15th.
Van Steenlandt says he hopes buyers who filed lawsuits will reconsider and close on their units, but it appears the matter is headed to court.

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Central Park Village changes plans-Tampa,Fl

Central Park Village changes plans
Council approval is needed for fewer homes, more retail space.
By JANET ZINKPublished June 8, 2007

TAMPA - Changes in the real estate market and the prospect of property tax cuts have forced the developers of Central Park Village to modify their plans for remaking an old public housing complex between downtown and Ybor City.

Most significant, Bank of America wants the option to replace up to 680 condominiums with hotels, retail stores and office space. "We want the flexibility to respond to the market," said Roxanne Amoroso, senior vice president of community development banking for Bank of America.

That could mean a loss of about 68 affordable homes that were to be developed and sold on the 28-acre property. It is zoned for up to 2,000 units. Original plans called for 1,100 condominiums.

"That's heavy with all that's happened in the market over the last 18 months," Amoroso said.
More than 3,000 condominiums are finished or being built in and around downtown. Another 6,600 are scheduled to come on line in the next 10 years. But many of the projects are struggling in the face of a softening residential real estate market.

Bank of America also plans to build 750 apartments on the property. Nearly 670 of those apartments will be for low-income renters. They'll replace the 483 public housing units now in Central Park Village. Amoroso said the bank also expects to take a hit once the Florida Legislature approves property tax reforms.

The land is part of a special taxing district where increases in property tax revenue collected in the neighborhood are funneled back into the area to pay for such things as roads, parks and sewer lines. Property tax reform could mean less money to rebuild Central Park Village.
Leroy Moore, chief operating officer of the Tampa Housing Authority, a partner with Bank of America on the project, said in the worst-case scenario, only two of five parking garages slated for the development would be built.

"We would have to find another funding source to get those built," he said.
Amoroso said that won't be a problem. "We're going forward," she said.
Any changes in the plans will need the approval of the Tampa City Council.
Council member Tom Scott, who has been advocating for three years for the redevelopment of Central Park Village, said he's eager to hear about Bank of America's latest plans.
"I hope it gets done. I hope Bank of America doesn't let this community down," he said. "If any area needs to be redeveloped, this is the area."

Plans for redeveloping Central Park Village have changed several times. In 2003, local developers proposed remaking it as part of a 157-acre overhaul of several neighborhoods. But that concept failed.

A year later, some of those original developers, along with Bank of America, offered a 60-acre plan. But one of the major property owners pulled out, and the local backers followed.
That left Bank of America with 28 acres of Tampa Housing Authority land to work with.
Amoroso said the bank remains committed, and the latest challenges are "no more than there would be with any development of this magnitude."

Residents are already moving out of Central Park Village. Only about 100 people remain, said Mary Williams, president of the Central Park residents association.
Demolition should begin at the end of July and take until December, Moore said. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2008.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Trump Tower Dead, Tampa, Fl

Trump ends ties with Tampa tower
Associated PressPublished May 31, 2007

TAMPA -- Donald Trump has pulled out of the $300 million, 52-story Trump Tower condominium project in Tampa, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.Trump said in the lawsuit that developer SimDag owes him more than $1 million in unpaid licensing fees. Trump also said SimDag failed to show it had sold enough condos, valued between $700,000 and $6.2 million, to meet contractual obligations to him.

Trump was entitled to half the profit from the sale of 190 condos and a licensing fee of $2.8 million.The loss of the famous name could end the project.

"We could continue without Trump, but I don't know if we'd even want to, " said Eric Fordin of the Related Group, a Miami developer enlisted by SimDag to revive the project. The project, billed in January 2005 as one of the tallest towers on the Gulf of Mexico, has been burdened by financial setbacks, legal troubles and the slump in the housing market.

Construction stalled in November, and the lot is now empty.The phone at SimDag's Clearwater corporate office was disconnected Wednesday

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