Senate Proposes to End Affordable Housing

A coalition of affordable housing advocates is urging the Senate to drop a proposal that would permanently redirect real estate transaction tax revenue from the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund to General Revenue.

The section of the proposed bill (SB 7200) would cripple affordable housing efforts, the advocates say.

“Permanently redirecting doc stamp money that is dedicated to Florida’s housing trust funds is not needed for the Legislature to balance the budget this year,” said Jaimie Ross, facilitator for the Sadowski Coalition, which supports affordable housing spending. “The Legislature can sweep the money in the state and local housing trust funds to balance the budget without permanently redirecting the money to general revenue.”

That’s what has been done in the past. Lawmakers have dipped into the trust fund to shift money to general revenue.

For some years, there’s been a cap on what the affordable housing trust fund can actually take in in documentary stamp tax revenue, with any amount above that going automatically into general revenue.

Documentary stamp taxes are paid on documents that are typically part of real estate transactions.
“This proposal would mean the end of the Sadowski housing trust funds,” said Douglas Buck, Governmental Affairs Director for the Florida Homebuilders Association. “The Sadowski Housing Trust Funds create77 jobs per every $1 million of trust fund dollars that is used to fund housing programs.”

The Florida Realtors also oppose the shift.

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