Letter to Crist from Ford

June 11, 2010

The Honorable Charlie Crist
Governor – State of Florida
The Capitol PL-05
400 N. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Governor Crist:

Enclosed you will find a copy of the letter sent to Speaker Cretul, President Atwater, and, I assume, to you by my local tax appraisers, Greg Brown and Chris Jones. They have identified a problem that I consider to be critical that we address in Special Session.

I am fundamentally opposed to Special Sessions due to the cost but, in this case, the potential tax burden to be borne by both individuals and businesses will intensify the pressure for us all as we try to get our economy moving again, in addition to attempting to recover from the direct consequences of the oil spill.

With the impending effect of the loop current most of Florida will be directly affected, with North Florida first and hardest hit. I don’t want to contribute to the blame game but we must assess the costs on the guilty parties and affect individuals, businesses and local governmental entities as little as possible.

There are two tax implications, immediate and long term. The most immediate is the current year assessment already made with impending freefall of property values. The tax appraisers do not have the statutory authority to immediately lower tax appraisals. We need to grant that authority in a Special Session! In the longer term, we need to compensate local governments for the loss of ad valorem revenue. Both these remedies and their necessary costs must be borne by
BP and its subcontractors. In fact, we must insure that BP is obligated, in writing, through an open ended contract to pay all the rapidly accruing expenses of all kinds. I would not want to witness the disappearance of its assets in spin offs, pup companies or shell companies in order to avoid the claims in the future. This crisis will not end soon.

Please add these requests to any Special Session call or support a Special Session to fix it. I believe the people need and deserve this requested relief.

Best wishes,
Clay Ford
State Representative – District 3

cc: House Speaker Larry Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater (w/encl)