Making business harder to conduct in Florida and discouraging businesses away from relocating to Florida is bad for our industry. That is what will happen if Amendment 4, or Hometown Democracy, passes on the 2010 ballot.

If passed, this proposal would screw up the local planning process and discourage Florida communities from building schools, highways, hospitals, etc. It would not only make it tough for local businesses to grow, it would also discourage businesses from bringing new jobs to Florida. Small businesses owners already must navigate the tricky waters of Florida’s land-use process. The addition of Amendment 4 would also force them into costly political battles just to stay in business.

How do I know? Well we have a recent example that is illustrative of the disaster that looms with Amendment 4. In 06 St Pete Beach passed a local version of Amendment 4. Since then, many businesses have been forced to pay over $500,000 in fees with more problems approaching.

Not only are their business reasons not to pass Amendment 4, but there is that pesky “rule of law” argument. You see, we do not live in Democracy. We have laws that are meant to protect people and their property from the masses that might do them harm.

As a friend recently said, “The fundamental question is: Where does one individual obtain the authority to tell another individual what to do with their property or how to use it? If an individual does not have that authority then they can not delegate authority to the government that they do not have as an individual.”

As an industry we should fight Amendment 4 because it steps on private property rights and hurts small business.

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