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.