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New survey shows Amendment 4 solar initiative getting 56 percent support

An initiative that would give a property tax break for renewable energy to residents and businesses, is getting strong support heading into the Aug. 30 primary election in Florida.

A St. Pete Polls survey released Wednesday shows Amendment 4 is garnering 56 percent in support to 16 percent against, with 27 percent undecided.

Florida hasn’t had a constitutional amendment referendum in the state primaries since 1984. There is some confusion regarding this issue and Amendment 1, another solar power constitutional amendment that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Unlike that measure, however, Amendment 4 is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. It comes directly from the Legislature, where St. Petersburg Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes sponsored it in the Senate. Pensacola Republican Ray Rodrigues was the prime sponsor in the House, and South Florida Democratic Rep. Lori Berman was a co-sponsor.

This is the official ballot language of the measure:

“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 Jan. 1, 2018, and expires on Dec. 31, 2037.”

The poll also asked voters if they would support an open primary system, where independents could participate in primary elections like the one coming up later this month. The result showed there is strong support for such a system, with 59 percent in support and 28 percent opposed, with another 13 percent undecided.

The poll robocalled 5,358 likely statewide primary voters on Tuesday, Aug. 2. It has a 1.3 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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