Florida lawmakers pillage $190 million from affordable housing fund

By
Real Estate Agent with Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. BK627826

Last week the Florida legislature met to try and ease Florida's budget crisis.  In addition to raising a whole bunch of fees and miscellaneous taxes, the legislature also gobbled up some of the money in the state's many trust funds.

  

The affordable housing trust fund which is paid for out of documentary stamp revenue from house sales and new mortgages was a big target.  The legislature took $190 million dollars in affordable housing money to make up for budget shortfalls.  You can read more about this online at FLAnews.

My biggest concern is that this money is meant to pay for county down payment assistance programs like HANDS, SHIP, and SAIL (acronyms for long fancy titles). It is sort of a catch-22 in that the doc stamp revenues are generated by property sales and financing, but by cutting out much of these needed funds it could perpetuate a downward spiral in the real estate market.  Thus continuing the trend as opposed to turning it around.  Since I would bet 10% or more of the sales that come through our office involve some sort of down payment assistance deal, this is just going to slow things down even more.  Thus even less doc stamp revenues for the State of Florida this year.

Hopefully I am wrong.  There is still a lot of fat to trim from Florida's budget and I don't think raiding trust funds is the answer to our state's economic woes.  Taking this money is very short sighted in my opinion.  But who am I to second guess our leaders???

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Rob Arnold - Your full service and investor friendly Realtor ® in Orlando and Central Florida.

ABR, CPL, CRB, CSP, GRI, Managing real estate broker, Notary Public

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charles Fischer 01/21/2009 02:32 PM
Location:
Florida
Groups:
Orlando Real Estate
Florida Realtor® Network
Central Florida
Seminole County Florida
Florida Real Estate Investors
Tags:
seminole county ship
florida affordable housing trust fund
florida ship program
orange county hands

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Rainer
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Lisa Spalding
Casa Latino Four Corners, REALTOR, CDPE - Longwood, FL
REALTOR, CDPE

Well-said about the situation--and how frustrating for us all!!!

Jan 21, 2009 04:05 AM #1
Anonymous
Bill

Good.  All of these "assistance" programs were a big part of the big bust.  Realtors played a big part in the bust as well, and are now crying after the chickens have come home to roost.

Jan 21, 2009 10:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Bill - I agree with you.  It would be great if the government stayed out of the marketplace altogether and didn't hand out "stimulus" or "welfare" or "grant" checks to anybody.  But on the same note if they are going to charge doc stamp taxes on real estate that are specifically meant to pay for real estate down payment assistance programs, then the money should go where it was originally designated. 

Jan 22, 2009 07:19 AM #3
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Rainmaker
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Rob Arnold

Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F
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