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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Amendment 6 leaves some wanting more property tax relief



Offutt Cory Offutt walked into the voting booth thinking he was giving himself a property tax break.

"It was awesome," the marine towing operator in Miami said of a so-called working waterfront proposal that passed with 71 percent of the vote statewide in November.

Amendment 6, as it turns out, does not help Biscayne Towing and Salvage or other businesses like it because of the limited definition of working waterfront that voters approved.

But as the Legislature drafts the implementing language — the exact wording that goes into law taking effect in 2010 — a little-noticed but persistent lobbying effort is under way to expand its reach.

"Look at this," said Democratic Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami Beach, poking his finger into a photo of a tug pulling a cargo container up the Miami River. "That's a working waterfront to a T."

Whatever happens, this much is clear: Sizable property tax relief remains frustratingly elusive for many businesses, even as values have come down in a cooler market. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:36pm]


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