SCIAR learns about water quality, Florida Amendment 2 at meeting
The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors recently hosted two guest speakers who addressed two issues facing industry professionals – water quality and property taxes.
On Sept. 20, Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass and Jacob Gil, the regional coordinator for the Florida Amendment 2 campaign, spoke at the association’s monthly membership breakfast.
Pendergrass discussed the final draft of the continuation budget and water quality. In August, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, along with several other mayors from affected cities, went to the commission to request a state of emergency be declared due to red tide and the blue-green algae crisis and the devastating impact it has had on the islands’ economies and ecological health.
Recently, the state allotted $3.9 million in emergency funding for Lee County. Pendergrass discussed the impact that the money will have on clean up and handling of the waterways and beaches in Southwest Florida. He also fielded questions from several SCIAR members and was open and candid about the problems and solutions to local water quality issues.
Gil explained the benefits of renewing Amendment 2. He discussed that the amendment maintains an existing cap on how much local governments can increase certain property taxes every year. The taxes are typically passed along to local businesses and rental properties, though it affects everyone by keeping Florida an affordable place to live and do business. For more information on Amendment 2 and to read the full text, visit everybodyisfor2.com.
The meeting concluded with a caravan tour of properties for sale on Sanibel and Captiva, which was sponsored by two affiliate business partners of SCIAR – Ned Hale with Hale Law Services, P.A., and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge. Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland spoke to the membership about the upcoming “Ding” Darling Days taking place Oct. 12-14.