Florida Association of Realtors(R) urges lawmakers to consider housing issues and protect Florida’s future

TALLAHASSEE – As the Florida Legislature meets in special session this week to balance an additional $2.3 billion budget shortfall because of declining revenues in the current recession, Florida Realtors(R) urge lawmakers to weigh their options carefully and consider Florida’s economic future.

Legislators are discussing a number of actions, including spending cuts, tapping reserves, higher court fees and fines. The Florida Association of Realtors(R) continues to monitor recommendations that could harm the state’s housing industry and slow the economic recovery, says John Sebree, FAR Vice President of Public Policy.

Sebree notes that housing serves as Florida’s greatest economic engine: $1 million of state funding for housing produces $10.36 million in related economic activity and 106 jobs, according to research from the Sadowski Affordable Housing Coalition.

“There’s a saying, ‘As real estate goes, so goes the economy’,” says 2009 FAR President Cynthia Shelton. “Housing and commercial real estate investment has always lifted our economy out of past downturns and will do so again. In these challenging economic times, the Legislature will be faced with tough choices. We all recognize the need to cut spending and tighten belts; however, no action should be taken that would raise the cost of homeownership, business ownerships or investments for Floridians.”

The purchase of real estate impacts many industries – from builders, home inspectors and appraisers to title companies, movers, home decor, appliance and furniture stores. “This ripple effect generated by increased real estate activity will help bring the economy out of recession and lead to an overall economic recovery,” says Sebree.

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