The Apopka Chamber of Commerce has announced it is taking positions on four of the 10 Florida Constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot, giving thumbs up to three and thumbs down to one.
The one the chamber is opposing is Amendment 1, the proposed increase in homestead exemptions.
Otherwise, the chamber is urging passage for Amendment 2, which would make permanent the temporary cap of 10 percent on annual property value increases for vacation homes, apartments and commercial property; Amendment 3, which would require a popular vote of at least 60 percent for any expansion of casino gambling; and Amendment 10, which has several functions, including the one the chamber cites, requiring that sheriffs, tax collectors, property appraisers, supervisors of elections and clerks of courts, know as county constitutional officers, be elected officials, rather than appointed by other elected officials as is the case in some counties.
“The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce is focused on providing leadership to influence the economic and governmental issues impacting our community and we encourage our membership and the residents of the Apopka area, to follow our lead on these important ballot initiatives,” Ken Croston, chairman of the board and the president/CEO of Electronic Locksmith, stated in a news release issued by the chamber.
In the release, the Apopka chamber argued that Amendent 1 would only benefit about 25 percent of property owners and would ultimately lead to a shift in the tax burden, as cities and counties try to find other sources of revenue to replace the property taxes lost through the additional homeastead exemptions.
The chamber argued that Amendment 2 would help commerce and prevent excessive property taxes, and that Amendment 10 would give the business community confidence that politics are not part of public safety, the judicial system, tax colletion, property appraisals, elections and other key public services.
As for Issue 3, the chamber said it would, “protect the Central Florida region’s brand and economic driver, our family-friendly tourism industry, by keeping casino gambling out Apopka and the three-county area.”
“We are confident that our position on each of these amendments will continue to foster growth, prosperity and predictability for the business community and the hardworking families of the greater Apopka area,” Robert Agrusa, president of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, stated.