Contributor: Jeffrey Levine, 2019 RAPB + GFLR Incoming President

Contributor: Jeffrey Levine, 2019 RAPB + GFLR Incoming President

As the General Election draws near, there’s a multitude of political issues flying around. From candidates’ positions to amendments, we could be impacted in one way or another, for better or worse.

An important issue on the November 6th ballot is one with a proven track record — Amendment 2. It has and will positively affect everybody if passed, and negatively if not.

In 2008, a temporary 10% property tax cap on annual non-homestead assessments was passed overwhelmingly by voters. Non-homestead properties are properties that are not primary residences, such as: second homes, vacation homes, commercial properties, businesses, vacant lots, and undeveloped land. Since the temporary tax cap was put in place, all of us have benefited substantially.

The only problem now is that the cap expires in January of 2019. The solution is voting ‘Yes’ on Amendment 2 in the upcoming election to make this cap permanent.

If the property tax cap expires, how will it affect us?

For one, it’s been a safeguard that helps anyone who rents, which is at least 31.4% of the Palm Beach County population. Without the cap in place, property taxes could skyrocket well beyond 10% — even as high as 30%, 40%, or more!

Where will these costs go?

They will be passed onto the renter, you. Landlords must increase rent prices to continue to afford their properties.

What if you don’t rent?

Well, the same scenario will affect businesses. This time, the increased cost is passed onto the consumer, you, through the prices of goods.

Consumers will be dissuaded from spending money, and many smaller businesses will be forced to close their doors. Ultimately, not having a property tax cap will hurt the economy.

Consider this: Palm Beach County is currently one of the most expensive places to rent in the nation, at $1,206. If you make the average per capita income of $34,846, and the yearly cost to rent at $14,472, you’re only making 2.4 times the rent. Most places will only let you rent if you make 3 times the rent, and on top of it, necessities to live will become more expensive.

In turn, these combined factors exacerbate the affordable housing problem.

Voting ‘Yes’ this November on Amendment 2 will allow you to help our housing crisis and contribute towards financial security for all of Palm Beach County. | Early Voting Locations

The Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale is the 3rd largest local real estate association in the country. As one unified voice, RAPB + GFLR represents 30,000 Realtors®, 33,000 MLS subscribers, and 5 regional boards across South Florida and the Treasure Coast. For more information, contact