Brokerage groups have invested another $ 8 million to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot that would ensure money for affordable housing programs, a newly filed financial report shows.
Florida Realtors group raised $ 5 million to the Floridians for Housing Political Committee in June, while the National Association of Realtors raised another $ 3 million. Florida Realtors had previously contributed $ 5 million, bringing the total amount raised by the committee to $ 13 million.
The committee also paid $ 2.5 million to SGS, Inc., a Gainesville company, in June. While the financial report filed with the state electoral department contains little information about spending, most of the funds raised by the committee this year will likely go towards collecting petition signatures.
To get to the vote, supporters of the proposed change must submit 891,589 valid petition signatures by February 1. As a preliminary step, the committee is required to file 222,898 signatures to trigger a pivotal review of the proposed ballot wording by the Florida Supreme Court.
On Wednesday afternoon, the election department’s website showed that 106 valid signatures had been counted for the initiative.
The proposed constitutional amendment comes after years of frustration in the real estate industry and, among other things, legislative decisions to use money from a government trust fund for affordable housing called the Sadowski Trust Fund for other purposes.
If 60 percent of voters approve, the proposed electoral measure in the Florida Constitution would establish the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. It would require the trust funds to receive at least 25 percent of the revenue from deed taxes – which are levied on real estate transactions – and would detail how the money could be used to create affordable housing.
The housing proposal would likely be one of the most high-profile initiatives in the November 2022 vote, coming after Republican lawmakers took a series of steps to make constitutional amendments harder to pass.
These steps included the passage of a law that year that Set a contribution limit of $ 3,000 to political committees that collect petition signatures for election initiatives. The limit would make it much more difficult – critics say impossible – to collect the required signatures on the petition.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis halves the money for a fund for affordable housing
By Alex Galbraith and NSF
The law (SB 1890) was due to go into effect July 1, after millions of dollars were paid to the Affordable Housing Initiative. But U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor blocked the law last week, saying it violated the First Amendment.
Political committees are required to submit updated financial reports to the Elections Department on Monday. Another proposed constitutional amendment that could raise large sums of money is an initiative to legalize sports betting across Florida.
DraftKings and FanDuel, two major online sports betting platforms, support the proposal that taxes on sports betting must flow into education. The Florida Education Champions political body, which leads the initiative, hadn’t released a financial report by Wednesday afternoon.
Stay up to date with the latest news and views from Central Florida with our weekly edition Newsletter, and think about it Support this free publication. Our small but fine team works tirelessly to bring you the news from Central Florida, and every little bit helps.