TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 21, 2016 – Florida voters will consider four possible changes to the state constitution when they cast ballots on Nov. 8.
The first two (No. 1 and No. 2) cover solar energy rules and marijuana use for medical reasons. No. 3 would add a property tax exemption for some first responders injured in the line of duty, and the last amendment (No. 5 on the ballot) clarifies the rules for an existing exemption offered to some lower-income, long-term-resident seniors.
Proposed Amendment 4 doesn’t appear on the November ballot; voters already considered it on the August primary ballot. That amendment, which also focuses on solar energy rules, passed with 73 percent of the vote. Under the Florida Constitution, a proposed amendment must pass with at least 60 percent of the vote to make it into the constitution.
A complete overview of the proposed amendments can be viewed on the Florida Department of Elections website.
A synopsis of the amendments and background on Florida Realtors’ involvement is available on Florida Realtors’ website.
Florida property tax amendments
Amendment 3Titled “Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders,” this amendment, if approved by 60 percent of voters, would mirror an exemption that already exists for surviving spouses of first-responders who died in the line of duty. Amendment 3 would extend that benefit to totally or permanently disabled first responders. The amendment would approve the property tax exemption at the state level; to become effective, it would have to be implemented at the county or city level.
Amendment 5Titled “Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-Income, Long-Term Residents; Determination of Value,” this amendment, if approved, would clarify one rule for a tax exemption that already exists for certain seniors: the determination of their home’s just value.The current senior tax exemption sets rules on age (over 65), length of time they’ve spent in a homesteaded house (at least 25 years) and a maximum value for their home ($250,000). However, a senior could possibly lose the extra exemption if rising home values boost their property above $250,000 years after they’ve qualified for the exemption. As a result, Amendment 5 clarifies that the $250,000 qualifier “is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption.” After that, the senior’s home value can rise above $250,000 without negating their exemption.The Florida senior homestead exemption can receive approval only at the state level; to become effective, it would have to be implemented at the county or city level.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
Source: Florida Realtors Feed