Written by Miami Today on June 3, 2010
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VOTER VERIFICATION: A new deal with would-be Watson Island developer Flagstone Property Group has been stalled to ensure it jibes with the referendum City of Miami voters passed in 2001, when they agreed to lease the land to Flagstone for a luxury mega-yacht marina, hotels and retail. Under the latest proposed extension, the developer would essentially get more than 18 years of wiggle room to build. Commissioners approved the general business terms in March. "What we are looking at is specifically the wording of the referendum," Mayor Tomás Regalado said last week. "We want to be very clear on what the voters voted on and what the future of the project is" in an "abundance of caution." When commissioners vote on the new agreement next month, he said, it should contain the same business terms as approved in March.
GREEN LIGHT: Green taxing districts are a go after Gov. Charlie Crist last week signed off on a state bill allowing local governments to set up programs to help property owners fund energy-efficient home improvements. Several local governments, including Miami-Dade County and a municipal cluster in South Dade, have been waiting for the green light to issue bonds and lend volunteer property owners money to finance costly energy-efficient improvements like solar panels. Borrowers would pay down the debt through a special assessment on their property tax bill. Now, state approval in hand, it’s up to the local governments to actually enact the taxing programs.
FILM’S A GO: Filmmakers now have more reason to choose Florida: Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday signed SB 1752, an economic development package including $242 million in transferable tax credits to be offered over five years to filmmakers and television crews filming in Florida. State film-industry players had been pushing for better incentives for years to stay competitive with other states. Applications for the tax credits are to be accepted starting July 1.
FULL SPEED AHEAD: The Florida Department of Transportation intends to move forward on projects as planned after Gov. Charlie Crist put the brakes on the Legislature’s move to sweep $160 million from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. "The department will use this money to continue to enhance and improve the state’s transportation system," the department said in a statement. Still, the roadblock’s not fully cleared yet. It’s been reported legislators may fight the governor’s veto.
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