“Hometown Democracy” amendment will cost jobs, report says

Critics of Amendment 4 – which will be on the 2010 ballot – on Tuesday released a report concluding that the measure could cost the state hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause a steady decline in residents’ quality of living.

The amendment, placed on the ballot by Florida Hometown Democracy Inc., would require voter approval of changes to city and county comprehensive growth plans. The ballot measure already faces opposition from business groups including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Home Builders Association.

The report was issued as the opposition groups announced their campaign against the amendment.

The report by Washington Economics Group, Inc. found that the amendment could cost between 106,652 jobs under a “moderate” impact scenario to 267,247 jobs under a most likely scenario.

“If you like the recession, you’ll love Amendment 4,” Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

But Florida Hometown Democracy co-founder Lesley Blackner of West Palm Beach said the report assumes that all growth plan changes will be rejected by voters, which she said shouldn’t be true if the proposals are in the public interest.

“They (opponents) don’t like that Amendment 4 will make it harder to build where ever they want, whenever they want,” she said.

To read the report, go to www.florida2010.org .