Thursday, February 28, 2008

Airport Construction Stay Lifted

Airport Construction Stay Lifted
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Excerpts by Ed Offley, News Herald
PANAMA CITY A federal appeals court in New York has cleared the way for construction to begin in full at the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport, officials announced Monday. “This is a red-letter day for the airport,” said Airport Authority Vice Chairman Bill Cramer upon receiving news of the decision just before an Airport Authority’s regular meeting Monday morning. The ruling by the three-judge panel for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan was filed late Friday, just two days after the judges heard oral arguments on an attempt by three organizations to appeal the Federal Aviation Administration’s record of decision in late 2006 approving the new airport. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife and Friends of PFN, a local pilot’s organization, challenged the FAA decision on grounds that construction of the airport would cause irreparable damage to wetlands. The panel’s decision vacates an eight-week stay on construction imposed by Judge Richard C. Wesley on Nov. 29. It later was amended, allowing limited site-prep construction in non-wetland areas. In their decision Friday, Judges Robert D. Sack, Robert A. Katzmann and Reena Raggi cited a previous appeal decision involving a federal agency: “Four criteria are relevant in considering whether to issue a stay of an order … pending appeal: the likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable injury if a stay is denied, substantial injury to the party opposing a stay if one is issued, and the public interest.” “Having reviewed the briefing on appeal and the administrative record before the agency, and having heard oral argument on the merits on January 23, 2008, we now conclude that these factors balance in favor of the respondents,” the judges added, referring to the FAA. “Accordingly, we hereby vacate the stay of enforcement of the FAA ROD (record of decision).” Although the stay on the FAA decision has been lifted, airport officials said they still need to receive confirmation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before commencing construction. When Wesley issued the interim stay, the corps, as a matter of procedure, suspended the Section 404 permit it had granted the airport. Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill said Monday the authority and corps officials already were discussing the matter. News of the court’s quick decision came as a pleasant shock to airport officials who had girded themselves for a wait of weeks, and possibly months. Airport Director Randy Curtis said he received a telephone call shortly after 8:30 a.m. from the Airport Authority’s Washington attorney informing him of the decision. “This is great,” Curtis beamed. “This decision represents a major step forward for the airport.”

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Property Tax Amendment

February 3, 2008


As you know, providing meaningful property tax relief to Floridians has been one of my top priorities this year. Below are some typical questions that you might have to help you and your family understand the new Property Tax Amendment.
Q: When will the changes from Amendment 1 show up on tax bills?
A: For those who are eligible, benefits from portability, the additional homestead exemption and the $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property will start showing up on 2008 tax bills.
Q: How does a person apply for portability?
A: The homesteaded property owner should turn in a completed application to the office of the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located. The application is available from local appraisers. They got the forms from the Department of Revenue on Wednesday.
Q: Who's eligible for portability this year?
A: A person who establishes a new Florida homestead for 2008 and filed to give up the previous homestead sometime after Jan. 1, 2007. In other words, a person who relocated from a homestead last year and is claiming a new homestead for 2008 is eligible. The deadline for 2008 homestead and portability applications is March 1. The portability benefit would show up on the 2008 tax bill.
Q: Who's eligible for portability after that?
A: Any Florida homesteaded property owner who establishes a new homestead for 2009 or any subsequent year -- as long as the person had another valid homestead within two years of establishing the new one.
Q: How much is the portability benefit worth?
A: A homesteaded property owner can transfer up to $500,000 of portability benefit to a new homestead. A person moving to a more expensive home transfers the dollar amount. A person moving to a less expensive home transfers the percentage value.
Q: Is there an application for the additional homestead exemption?
A: No. The additional exemption will be granted automatically to anyone qualifying for a base $25,000 homestead exemption. It applies only if a property's assessed value exceeds $50,000.
Q: How much is the additional exemption?
A: The exemption is $25,000, but it does not apply to property taxes assessed for local schools. In other words, no additional exemption will be applied to a property's assessed value for the purposes of levying school taxes.
Q: Do business owners and mobile-home owners with tangible personal property have to apply for the exemption?
A: To receive the exemption, they must file their 2008 returns. If the value of tangible personal property is under $25,000, they will not have to file again the following year.
Q: When does the 10 percent cap on annual assessment increases for most non-homesteaded properties go into effect?
A: It goes into effect in 2009. There will also be an application.

I encourage you to stay engaged on this issue and to continue communicating with your elected officials on the issues important to you.

As always, I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

If I can ever be of service to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jimmy Patronis
District 6

Condo Stats in Panama City Beach - Ending Month of January 08

January ending 2008

#Total Listings: 1,668Average Price: $406,191Median Price: $359,900Highest Price: $2,750,000Lowest Price: $19,500Average DOM: 254
Total Listings: 33Average Price: $320,682Median Price: $290,000Highest Price: $866,000Lowest Price: $92,500Average DOM: 176

#Total Listings: 48Average Price: $311,356Median Price: $299,500Highest Price: $849,000Lowest Price: $70,000Average DOM: 137

#Total Listings: 251Average Price: $416,654Median Price: $355,900Highest Price: $2,049,000Lowest Price: $0Average DOM: 0

#Total Listings: 78Average Price: $469,589Median Price: $399,950Highest Price: $2,049,000Lowest Price: $98,900Average DOM: 234

Friday, January 25, 2008

Homes for Rent

Available rentals 3br 2ba and 2 br 1 ba near St Andrews State Park - 3br is available Feb. 10th and 2 br available sometime in March

3 bedroom 1 bath in Historic St Andrews
Walk to ALL shopping and activities
Soon it will have a new metal roof
Available now

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Invest in Florida Real Estate

Long-term economic and demographic trends continue to favor Florida. By 2010 it has been forecast that Florida will be the third most populated state in the country. Florida’s population is expected to increase about 75 percent by 2030. Florida demonstrates a long history of strong growth. It has been one of the 10 fastest-growing states in the U.S. for each of the past seven decades, and often it has been in the top four, according to census data. Population growth will continue to provide a foundation for other economic growth such as new jobs and growing incomes. All of which is good for real estate.