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Amendment One Challenged

February 13th, 2008 by flanews

The portion of amendment one that allows homesteaders to take their tax savings with them when they move is being challenged in court. A lawsuit claims the so called portability measure in the amendment is unconstitutional. As Whitney Ray tells us, opponents say the provision violates equal protection clauses of the constitution.

Hear it here: Amendment One Challenged

The amendment approved by voters last month creates financial incentives for Floridians moving within the state. Attorney Doug Lyons says it also creates second class citizens. Lyons has filed suit challenging amendment ones portability feature.

We cant have residency be the determining factor in taxes. You cant have dispersant treatment based solely on residency because what you do is create second class citizens, said Lyons

The client is Bob Burner. He bought his Florida home in 2006. His property taxes went up almost 40 percent before he gained homestead status. The previous owner of his home had an increase of just 11 dollars in four years.

Its a piggy bank, its a state sponsored piggy bank. If you got here early enough, you got the piggy bank, said Burner.

Lyons said allowing homeowners to take their savings to a new home violates the U.S. Constitutions right to travel and creates an uneven playing field for first time home buyers. Governor Charlie Crist said he has faith in the legality of the amendment and expects the suit to fail.

Save Our Homes lasted for a along time, since 1992. I have the same faith and confidence in the portability of Save Our Homes, said Crist.

The governor and lawmakers were warned the portability provisions could be unconstitutional. Now they are about to find out if the warnings were true. The attorneys expect the case to go all the way to the state, if not the federal Supreme Court. The suit seeks compensation for all first time home buyers who bough new homes in Florida since 2004.

Posted in Amendments, Charlie Crist, Politics, Property Taxes, State News | 3 Comments »

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