Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–September 3

Sep 3, 2008

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Florida Supreme Court strikes down Amendment 5 tax swap plan

The state Supreme Court today removed a multi-billion tax swap plan from the November ballot, just hours after a majority of justices argued forcefully during courtroom arguments that the voter summary for Amendment 5 was misleading about its potential implications for school funding.

Amendments 5, 7, 9 thrown off November ballot

Florida’s Supreme Court has thrown three proposed amendments off November’s ballot.

Hours after oral arguments, the court’s seven justices unanimously said Amendments 5, 7 and 9 cannot be decided by voters.

Some flood victims can expect tax relief

Volusia and Seminole property appraisers said Friday that they would slash flood victims’ taxes in an unusual move that offers the first glimpse of falling market values at waterlogged homes.

Poll: Many don’t buy into tax swap

A majority of voters, close to the 60 percent needed for passage, favor writing a same-sex-marriage ban into the Florida Constitution, according to a new Orlando Sentinel poll.

Property tax lament: ‘So where’s my tax break?’

Gov. Charlie Crist promised Floridians that their tax bills would ”drop like a rock” if they voted for property-tax reform in January.

EDITORIAL: As Tax Notices Arrive This Month, Homeowners Find Ugly Shock

Homeowners have every right to be angry about the property-tax notices that recently arrived in mailboxes.

EDITORIAL: Property-tax relief promises ring hollow for some residents

For some, property tax relief means mere pennies saved. For others, the savings amount to hundreds of dollars, even $500, we’ve heard.

Action Line Special Report: Your property tax guide

Higher homestead exemptions: The exemption doubled to $50,000. However, that increase does not apply to school taxes. To add to the confusion, Broward County tax notices do not list $50,000 in the Base Exemptions box, but figure it in to the bottom-line calculation at the bottom of the notice.

Portability amendment hasn’t cured Treasure Coast real-estate blues

In the six months since voters approved the property tax portability amendment, the tax breaks have not revived a slow housing market.

Weston proposes tax rate hike, service cuts

To help out in a tight budget year, Weston proposes swinging its tax rate back to a time before property tax reform. The city blames the nation’s housing meltdown for its financial situation.

Faced with declining home values, fewer state resources and a different property tax system, Weston has proposed trimming some services and increasing its tax rate to pre-property-tax change levels.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Increase on millage rate is over 20 percent

I am sure that all other Marco Island residents have, like I, received their notice of proposed property taxes. They need to pay attention to the city of Marco Island tax line based on the proposed budget change. From the amount on my notice, I was able to calculate that the proposed mill rate will be about 1.454. Now compare that to the mill rate for the prior year which was 1.2048. Thus, the new proposed rate is an increase of 0.2492, or about 21 percent higher.

EDITORIAL: When cuts go too far

If Republican legislative leaders won’t listen to parents and teachers who anguish over the way budget cuts are hurting Florida schoolchildren, maybe they will at least hear Roberto Martinez.

Budget talk turns into war of words

The Miami-Dade school district will have to nearly deplete its rainy day fund in order to balance last year’s budget.

In the midst of a high-tension budget workshop Thursday, a visibly fuming Miami-Dade Schools Chief Rudy Crew yelled at one board member to not treat him “like a dog.”

Broward digs up enough cash to give teachers small pay raises

Despite earlier claims that there was no money for additional teacher raises, Broward school district negotiators made an offer for modest pay increases during contract talks Thursday.

After digging through the proverbial couch cushions, the Broward school district has come up with a little extra money to put toward teacher raises.

Plan to move Smart School students to Eagle Academy

A charter high school that’s about to close is proposing its students attend a new charter school located on the same campus.

Now that Smart School Institute of Technology and Commerce has lost funding from the state and must close, school officials have come up with a new plan: Put the students in a different charter high school on the same property.

Palm Beach School District set to vote on alternative to suspension program

After a test run of classes as an alternative to suspensions last year, the Palm Beach School Board will vote Wednesday on guidelines for a permanent program.

Hernando School Board, teachers divided on contract offer

Superintendent Wayne Alexander is predicting that contract negotiations between the Hernando County School Board and its teachers union could be wrapped up within a month.

Student counts come up short

The Manatee County School District is facing more budget cuts and possibly layoffs because of a drop in student enrollment.

State considers broader use of force in classrooms

Educators could use physical force to maintain a “safe and orderly learning environment” under a proposed state Board of Education rule.

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