Archive for January, 2008

For Sale
January 31, 2008

This just landed in my email…
I hope the PR guy is neither as clueless nor as heartless as he seems.
And I hope he appreciates a random act of irony.

Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:46 AM
Subject: HGTV’s Property Virgins needs Miami Homeowners!

Hi Glenna,

The crew of “Property Virgins” is coming to shoot in February. Shout out if you’re interested in interviews with host Sandra Rinomato.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 2008) — After a successful first season shooting with first-time homebuyers in Ohio, Texas, and Indiana, the hit series Property Virgins is coming to FLORIDA’S GOLD COAST, to help Miami, Palm Beach and the Fort Lauderdale first-time buyers find the homes of their dreams!

For the uninitiated, the real estate market can be a minefield of frightening unknowns. And with so much to learn and to consider — and with SO much money on the line, HOST and property guru, SANDRA RINOMATO, is coming to their rescue! …

From: Milberg, Glenna
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:56 AM

Dear Jordan,

Thank you for the pitch.
The interviews I’d really be interested in would be with the first-time homeowners you find, when they learn what “FLORIDA’S GOLD COAST” property taxes and windstorm insurance will cost them.



A #1
January 16, 2008

This is what they call a tough television story.

Words like “issue” or “amendment” or “ad valorem” or “revenue” in a newscast typically have the same affect as the hypnosis-inducing “You are getting sleeeepyyyy…” That’s why the Governor has perfected the K.I.S.S. method of selling the Property Tax Amendment #1: “Vote yes on One and lower your taxes”.

What a brilliantly clear and simple message. But by now most voters realize it’s just not that easy.

I know this because I’ve gotten a good number of emails from bright, engaged people asking for explanations and clarifications on what a yes-vote or a no-vote might mean down the road. To one of my “regulars”, a 50-something lawyer and long-time homeowner who likes broadcast-style simplicity, I sent the following Pro-Con list. He found it helpful; maybe you will, too. No No-Doze necessary:

PRO – An increased homestead exemption will likely save you a few hundred dollars a year. (Because school taxes will not be affected, the exemption will not really be “doubled”, though).
CON – For about the price of an annual dinner with wine at Capital Grille, $9B will be cut over the next five years from local governments that police your streets, taught your son, and pick up your trash.
PRO – With portability, you empty nesters can finally downsize without paying through the nose.
CON – The inequities in the taxing system created by Save Our Homes would remain, and would likely be worse. A#1 will probably be challenged as unconstitutional because it creates a system that taxes homesteaders forever differently than other property owners/buyers.
PRO – Non-homesteaders finally get something: $25,000 break on tangible personal property for businesses and a 10% percent “save our homes”-style cap on yearly assessments.
CON – A 10% cap is probably too high to make a difference anyway.
Some more CONS – No help at all for first-time home buyers; no guarantee that local governments won’t raise millage rates to make up for the losses to local budgets.

Not much of all that is actually explained on the ballot.
Come to think of it – reading the Amendment 1 ballot question made my eyes glaze over.