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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

On Monday I submitted public comments to the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA), which oversees our nation’s secondary mortgage markets, regarding their proposed fee increase on Floridians. The FHFA’s new proposal would increase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Guarantee Fee, which could increase the total lifetime costs of mortgages by thousands of dollars for future homeowners.

The proposal, based on a seriously flawed methodology, would penalize Florida for the strong consumer protections we have put in place to shield our homeowners from financial ruin. Even more outrageous is that this proposed policy would raise the lifetime costs of mortgages by potentially thousands of dollars for aspiring homebuyers in our state. Taxpayers have already spent nearly $190 billion bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, of which only a fraction has been paid back. It is unconscionable to think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac want to take more of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars through higher fees before resolving more fundamental problems.

Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac service nearly 2 million loans for single-family homes in Florida. Raising mortgage costs could weaken demand for these homes and reduce their value, which could worsen the foreclosure situation that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be liable for.

This proposed fee is nothing more than a back-door housing tax that unfairly penalizes future homeowners and strains an already fragile housing market. It should be withdrawn.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: Florida metros record some of the biggest unemployment drops nationwide

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Personal income climbs 4.6% in a year in South Florida

Miami Herald: ‘App economy’ is sizzling with potential

Business Week: Home Equity Loans Make Comeback Fueling U.S. Spending

Tampa Bay Times: Three companies bid to bring bike-sharing to Tampa

Orlando Sentinel: Colleges should offer $10,000 bachelor's degrees

Miami Herald: For Miami, new cruise ships a cause for celebration

Associated Press: Home prices increase in most major US cities

Teen Essay Contest Deadline Extended Florida Students $ave Essay Contest

The deadline has been extended for the Florida Students $ave Essay Contest until December 21, 2012.

Florida Students $ave aims to motivate young people to develop personal financial skills and better prepare them for college and the workplace, awarding hundreds of dollars to Florida high school students who present the best research and planning in response to scenarios that reflect on short- and long-term financial goals.

The contest is open to all Florida high school students (public, private, charter, virtual or homeschool) for the 2012-13 school year. Students can submit essays of up to 1,200 words for a chance to win a first-place prize of $250, while second- and third-place winners will receive $150 and $50 respectively. Three winners will be chosen from each of five regions across Florida: Northwest Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and South Florida.

For more information about the essay contest, including a list of contest rules, regions, awards and how to submit an essay, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/YMM or call the Division of Consumer Services helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236).

Florida's Bottom Line

Florida's Bottom Line: Investing in Florida's FutureIn recent months, several surveys and studies were released that speak to the quality of Florida's business climate and discuss Florida's ranking alongside other states. Here are these resources in case you missed them:

The latest edition of Florida's Bottom Line's lead story is on access to capital

Florida Chamber's Small Business Index Survey results

The National Chamber Foundation released a study on Enterprising States

The non-partisan Tax Foundation recently released a study ranking states' business tax climate, the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. This survey ranked Florida fifth best in the nation.