Cities like Oldsmar, Polk City and Coconut Creek have passed resolutions urging residents to vote against Amendment 4.
“Amendment 4 creates inequities for non-homesteaded properties by allowing identical properties to be taxed differently,” the resolution from Oldsmar reads.
The resolutions have been drafted by the Florida League of Cities, an advocacy group that has spoken out against the amendment.
To drive the message home, some local officials are warning of an outcome that might resonate with voters more than cuts to libraries or parks: Higher taxes.
If city and county officials can’t cut spending enough to make up for the revenue declines caused by the new tax cuts, they may need to raise tax rates to make up the difference.
“If we limit the growth in the tax roll, and we need additional revenue, then the tax rate has to increase,” said Jennifer Moon, budget administrator for Miami-Dade County.
Moon said permanent residents would have to shoulder the burden of the higher tax rates, while snowbirds and new homeowners would benefit from Amendment 4’s new tax provisions.
The initial impact on Miami-Dade County’s budget could be between $10 million and $15 million, Moon said.
Fitch Rating agency found that Amendment 4 would not impact the credit worthiness of most cities and counties, but its passage could lead to deep service cuts and tax hikes.
While business groups have come out in favor of the amendment, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce decided to remain neutral after a lengthy debate of the pros and cons.
Local governments were present at the debate, but president Bob Rohrlack said they did not play an active role in the debate.
In Miami-Dade County, where property taxes are a particularly thorny political issue, Commissioner Dennis Moss stopped short of weighing in on Amendment 4 at a recent commission meeting.
“Vote,” he said. “And vote wisely.”