Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Florida Ballot Time, 2016 Edition: The Primary Vote, With an Amendment On the Line

Normally I don't promote the statewide primary balloting information because it's mostly just the partisan, intraparty votes for legislative seats, or else votes for School Board and judicial seats that require paying attention to the local newspapers for recommendations.

This year is a little different, because this 2016 our state placed an Amendment referendum on the Primary ballot and not the General Election one. Oddly, it's a Legislatively-approved amendment... so there's possibly some kind of trickery involved here because we can't trust this Republican-led state lege on anything... so let's take a look at this:

Amendment Four: Solar Energy Tax Exemptions

The ballot summary should read like this:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037

It's odd to get an amendment to the state's constitution with an expiration date, for one. My layman's interpretation of the wording is that solar/renewable energy devices will be exempt from property values for tax calculations.

The link I have to Ballotpedia's entry on the amendment shows a lot of strong support for it even among political leaders and organizations that would be in favor of solar and renewable energy. There's another Amendment up for vote this November - Amendment One - which focuses more on the individual right to own/lease your own solar energy equipment, so I don't see Four conflicting with One in any way. So in some respects - even in the form of tax cutting - this might be a good amendment. I just can't come to terms with this state's GOP legislature actually doing something... well, sane and positive. I'd be voting YES on this. But... but... there's gotta be a catch to this, right...?

In all other things, this statewide primary is pretty much a standard, let's-get-our-ducks-in-a-row local vote to choose the final candidates for the General election battle.

The official primary is Tuesday August 30, with Early Voting set for Saturday August 20 through Saturday August 27.

There's no default statewide ballot to refer to since local elections and state districts make it painful to list every one, so it's best to find the County's Supervisor of Elections site for the area in which you live for more details.

Now that I live in Polk County, look here for the Republican ballot, this for the Democratic ballot, this one's the Libertarian ballot... hey, wait, they get their own this time? Ah, they have a contest for the US Senator slot. And here's the one I'll be getting as a No-Party Affiliate.

Just for those old-timers who read me back when I covered Pasco County, here's the appropriate links for you. You have to figure out your precinct first, then select the appropriate ballot. If we went by my old haunts, it'd be this ballot for me. You may note the Pasco County Mosquito Control Board is not listed for this election: you will have to wait for the General election in November to CHOOSE YOUR MOSQUITO CONTROLLERS.

Just remember, fellow Floridians: GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT. I don't care if it's the primary: we get another weak showing of 24 to 33 percent of all voters again, this will be our own damn fault if we don't get the candidates we need.

No comments: