CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS 3 and 5
All proposed amendments must receive a yes vote from at least 60 percent of voters to pass. Early voting for the November 8th election is October 24 - November 6. Both Amendments 3 and 5 would be in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption received by all residents who own a primary residence in Florida.
Amendment 3 would create a new property tax exemption for first responders who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of an injury sustained in the line of duty. If Amendment 3 is approved by voters, it will be up to the Florida Legislature to determine whether to give disabled first responders a full or partial property tax exemption. The exemption would apply only to homesteaded property.
Amendment 5 would revise an existing property tax exemption for senior citizens who have a household income of less than $25,000 a year and who have lived in their home for at least 25 years. Current state law allows counties and municipalities to give a property tax exemption equal to the home's assessed value to qualifying seniors, provided the property's market value is $250,000 or less. If the property value ever exceeds $250,000, then it loses the tax exemption.
Under the proposed amendment, the home must have a market value of less than $250,000 to initially qualify for the exemption but would allow seniors to keep the exemption if the market value used by the state's property appraisers to determine whether a senior citizen qualifies for the tax break would essentially be locked in place as of the first year that the owner applies for the exemption. The amendment would also allow seniors to regain the tax break if they previously lost it due to the rising value of their home.