Election Day is Nov. 6th! There are 12 Amendments, find out about them here!

Amendment 1

Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Source: Florida Legislature

Quick summary: Grants an additional $25,000 homestead exemption for homes valued over $125,000. Owners of homes worth more than $100,000 would also receive an increase in their exemption.

Full summary: This proposed amendment was approved during the 2017 legislative session and scheduled to appear on the 2018 ballot. Amendment 1 would increase the state’s homestead exemption by another $25,000 (a legislative analysis of the proposal is here). A little background: Florida’s homestead exemption, originally passed to help people after the Great Depression, allows homeowners to reduce their tax bills by shaving some of the value off the assessment of their primary residence.

For many years the exemption stood at $25,000, which meant if the property appraiser said your home was worth $125,000, you could deduct $25,000 off that value. That meant a smaller tax bill paid to local governments. In 2008, voters amended the state Constitution to exempt another $25,000 for homes valued at more than $50,000.

The amendment on this year’s ballot would add another $25,000 exemption, this one applying to the value of a home between $100,000 and $125,000. Those with homes valued at 125,000 and more would receive the full $25,000 exemption other than school taxes.  Those homes valued between $100,000 and $125,000 would receive a pro-rated benefit:

  • $10,000 of home value would be exempt from property taxes other than school taxes for homes valued at $110,000.
  • $15,000 of home value would be exempt from property taxes other than school taxes for homes valued at $115,000.
  • Homes valued at $100,000 or less would be unaffected.

It’s a little confusing, but the bottom line is this: If voters approve the additional $25,000 exemption in this amendment, that will increase to $75,000 the total amount a homeowner can deduct for a home valued at $125,000 or more. This newest exemption, if passed, would not reduce the taxes homeowners pay to local school districts. The new exemption would take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

A YES vote on Amendment 1 would:

  • Allow homeowners to deduct up to another $25,000 from the taxable value of a home worth more than $100,000, starting on Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Exclude local school taxes from the new exemption.
  • Cost Florida’s cities, counties and other taxing authorities an estimated $687.5 million annually, starting in 2019, according to the Florida Association of Counties.
  • Likely result in cuts to services or higher local rates to make up for the revenue losses, or possibly both.

Supporters:

Additional Resources

A Closer Look at Florida Amendment 1 by Florida Phoenix, a non-profit news site covering the state of Florida.

Florida League of Cities  overview

 

A NO vote on Amendment 1 would:

  • Retain the current homestead tax exemptions, which total $50,000.
  • Have no effect on the amount of tax revenue collected by city and county governments.

Opponents:

League of Women Voters of Florida; Florida Policy Institute; Florida League of Cities; Progress Florida; Florida Education Association; Florida Association of Counties; Florida City and County Management Association; Southern Poverty Law Center

LWVFL Position

Oppose. The League has a position that “no tax sources or revenue should be specified, limited, exempted, or prohibited in the Constitution.”


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