On behalf of the 15,000 plus Realtor members of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, I hope you will join me in supporting Amendment 2 on the November ballot. Amendment 2 keeps in place the current 10 percent property tax assessment cap on non-homestead properties.

There are several amendments on this year’s ballot that deal with property taxes. Amendment 2 does nothing more than keep a reasonable protection in place. It does not change current law, but rather simply makes permanent the existing 10 percent cap on the annual increase in non-homestead property tax assessments that was approved by Florida voters in 2008.

If the amendment fails to pass, all non-homesteaded properties will be assessed at their full value beginning January 2019. According to Florida TaxWatch, the disparity between homesteaded and non-homesteaded property taxes is already significant.

There are two significant outcomes I ask you to consider should we fail to renew the cap this November. Removing the cap consigns commercial property owners, including many small-business owners, to varying degrees of financial uncertainty due to the indeterminate increase in their property taxes from year to year. Higher tax bills ultimately result in higher costs of goods and services. In some cases, it could mean a business has to shut its doors.

Similarly, since the cap also applies to rental properties, including apartments, any increase in property taxes will undoubtedly be passed onto renters. The overwhelming number of Central Florida residents already struggling to afford their rent leaves no doubt that even a small increase in housing costs would be a devastating blow to residents and the economic health of our region and the state of Florida.

Please vote “yes” for Amendment 2.

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Cliff Long is CEO of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

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