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The Lemieux Report

3/24/08

www.thelemieuxreport.com

Much on this weeks report is covered in previous posts….

Topic 1….

A new tax swap amendment, does it add up? ….21-4 vote of full board Taxation and Budget Reform Commission (TBRC) approved constitutional amendment aimed at lowering property taxes…how?…removing local school taxes paid by property owners in favor of increased sales tax and fewer sales tax exemptions…proposal would cut 9.6 billion in property taxes…which were dedicated to school funding …..25% of average property tax bill….cut applies to all properties not just homestead….. reduces amount local governments can increase assessments on commercial,rental, second homes….from current 10%- 5%….increase sales tax 1 cent…repeal sales exemptions determined do not advance/serve public purpose…1 cent will generate 4 billion a year…still 5.6 billion to go….

Florida law says 66% needed to pass…

bottom line…can it get that percentage in Nov?…what kind of bucks will be needed for media blitz by Gov. to get it passed?

TBRC will get one more chance to consider this plan before 4/08 final vote….

Topic 2….

New nuclear power…in previous post…

2 new plants to be built south of Miami… 1st of its kind in 20 years…2 more to come up for bid in May for Levy County….

bottom line….fuel prices continue to climb…this is cheaper/cleaner alternative….unlikely to come on line until 2016…

Topic 3….

Growing clean cities……www.forbes.com

3 of 4 cities in Florida…Jacksonville/ Orlando/ St. Petersburg….Fl. Dept. of Environmental Protection singled out as major player….

bottom line…some of same cities listed will not be able to comlpy with new EPA smog standards …in previous Lemieux report…

Topic 4…

Transportation projects moving forward…in previous post…

Alligator Alley portions leased to private company…

2nd transportation measure gained momentum with House Infrastructure Commission passing legislation on Central Fl. commuter rail project…which would divert freight traffic toward Lakeland in favor of commuter rail in Orland Metro area….unbelievably…the state agreed to accept a no fault agreement with CSX leaving the state liable for injuries/damages…even if CSX causes them….

bottom line…tight budget years and reduced funding from DOT requires innovative strategies to address transportation challenges….

Topic 5…

Business lobby defeats corporate tax lobby….

Fl. business community opposes 365 million tax hike on Fl. bus. proposed by House Dems….Government Efficiency and Accountability Council voted party lines 10- 6 against the measure that would increase taxes on multi- state corps….mandate combined reporting for Corp. income taxes….in this proposal companies would file single tax return and report all us earned income …

proponents … this would close loop holes that allow hiding profits to state without corporate income taxes…

detractors….this would keep businesses from operating in Florida….

bottom line….taxing in a tough business economy wrong path for increased state revenues…less taxatio/ regulations to stimulate growth…

Things to watch…

Walgreens moving from pharmacy to health care provider…500 health centers….merged with 2 companies to provide services for hundreds of companies…

Gov. Crist/ Secretary of Fl. Dept. Environmental Protection…unveiled new permitting application service…PASS…allows interested parties to access info online…

Daily Business Review…reverse mortgages could be next financial crisis…

Dept Homeland security conducted the largest ever cyber security exercise….fed/ local/ private sectors teamed up to test nations response time in event of attack on nations cyber infrastructure…75% privately owner…

Wall Street Journal….www.wallstreetjournal.com

10 thousand new condos are going to built in Miami/ Broward….most take 3 years to complete….incentives created for developers to continue …means banks are at risk …..gives developers a better chance to recoup investment….

let’s see what happens all around with the new developments up and down the coast…over the next year….

still encourage signing up for the report to show up at your email address weekly….it is free…..

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