September 3, 2008

To: AAF Members
From: Clark Rector, Jr., Senior Vice President – Government Affairs
Re: Florida Amendment 5 Removed From Ballot

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that Amendment 5 must be removed from the ballot.

Amendment 5 could have opened the door to a tax on advertising services. The proposed constitutional amendment would have cut the property tax by an average of 25 percent—an estimated $9 billion in 2011. The property tax is the main source of education funding in Florida. The amendment would have required the legislature to maintain same level of education funding. While it did not mandate where the new revenues would come from, it specifies that the legislature could have raised the six cent sales tax by one cent and eliminated existing sales tax exemptions, including advertising.

The Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that the language of the amendment was misleading and did not adequately explain all the provisions of the amendment.

Polling numbers had shown that the amendment was far from reaching the 60 percent approval rate it would have needed to pass. AAF Fourth District lobbyist Jack Hebert and the Florida advertising federations played an instrumental role in educating the public and lawmakers as to the potential harmful economic consequences had Amendment 5 been approved.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.