• 9 investigates impact of complicated constitutional amendments


    Channel 9 investigated the impact of the complicated constitutional amendments that registered voters will be asked to vote on this November.

    For the first time in recent memory, the non-partisan League of Women Voters is opposing all of them.

    Investigative reporter George Spencer found the projected cost to local governments may exceed $1 billion.

    Grady Reichard, a longtime Floridian saving thousands of dollars a year with a disabled veterans property tax break, said it's very important.

    There's a push to expand that exemption to disabled veterans who were not Florida residents when they entered service. It's one of the proposed constitutional amendments that would have a major impact on the voter's wallet and government's coffers.

    "If they're passed, they're going to have a big and we think very damaging impact," said League of Women Voters President Dierdre Macnab.

    Macnab said of the 11 proposals, five are expected to reduce local government budgets significantly by cutting taxes.

    "If they're giving tax exemption to one group, it means somebody is paying more or you are going to have less money for services," said Macnab.

    Macnab argues changes like that belong in Florida laws, not its constitution. And said the taxes they'd cut create revenue used for funding schools and paying police and firefighters.

    Advocates insist for home owners the billion-dollar Amendment 4 would align property taxes with more realistic home values after the recession.

    Florida realtors are among the biggest proponents of Amendment 4.

    As it lowers property taxes they believe the change will spur growth in the housing market, especially with first-time buyers.

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