Jan 18, 2011
On Monday, January 10th and Tuesday, January 11th NAIOP Northeast Florida sent a group of members to Tallahassee for the NAIOP of Florida Board of Directors annual meeting and to meet with our state legislators to discuss issues important to the commercial real estate industry. The following members were on the trip:
• Fitch King, Immediate Past President of NAIOP of Florida
• Kate Clifford, NAIOP of Florida Board
• Nelson Bradshaw, NAIOP of Florida Board
• Jeff Evans, NAIOP of Florida Board
• Traci Jenks, NAIOP of Florida Board & NAIOP of Northeast Florida Public Relations Chair
• Karl Hanson, President, NAIOP of Northeast Florida
• Gordon Steadman, President-Elect, NAIOP of Northeast Florida
• Wyman Duggan, Vice President – Public Affairs, NAIOP of Northeast Florida
We met with the following Legislators:
• Sen. Stephen Wise
• Sen. Tony Hill’s legislative aide
• Sen. John Thrasher’s legislative aide
• Rep. Mike Weinstein
• Rep. Mia Jones
• Rep. Charles McBurney
• Rep. Lake Ray
• Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart
• Rep. Daniel Davis
• Rep. Janet Adkins’s legislative aide
On a general note all of the legislators seemed energized and optimistic that this year will see the passage of legislation that will help businesses grow. We made the following points on these core issues with all of the legislators:
• Support the passage of legislation reaffirming the legislative intent to amend growth management laws and make development easier during these economic times. Senate Bill 174 is this year’s legislation aimed at resurrecting former Senate Bill 360 to that end.
• Continue Gov. Scott’s efforts to look at innovative ways to guide development properly, encourage dense development while encouraging economic development to restore Florida’s economic health.
• Seek all available Federal funding to assist with Port related projects.
• Prevent any future trust fund sweeps or removal of funds from the Transportation Trust Fund for other governmental funding needs.
• Restore all funds slated for Transportation to the Transportation Trust Fund including tag and title fees and any turnpike monies for tolls which have been used for other purposes.
• Advocate for a new predictable Federal funding formula which would explore alternatives to the gas tax, which is now declining.
Streamline Sales and Use Tax
• Support the efforts of the Florida Retail Federation, Florida Chamber and others in urging Congress to act on internet and interstate mail order sales. Congress, with the ability to regulate interstate commerce, should adopt legislation which would require all retailers to collect and remit sales tax to the proper state where products are being shipped or used. Not only would Florida be enforcing its current sales and use tax law to ease the budget deficit, and would derive much needed revenue, but it would help eliminate the 7% competitive disadvantage for brick and mortar retailers in Florida.
• Given the growth in internet sales and the State’s budget deficit, it is estimated that at least $1 billion in sales tax is being uncollected and certainly every state in the union is currently suffering this same sales tax loss.
• Prepare legislation which would allow Florida to join the interstate compact once Congress acts.
• Support Gov. Scott’s recommendations in this area to help Florida businesses in a fair and efficient market place.