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Amendment 1

Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

A homestead tax exemption is a tax exemption on your residential property. Under current Florida law, Florida homeowners can claim up to a $50,000 exemption. The first $25,000 is exempt from all taxes, and the next $25,000 are exempt from everything other than school district taxes. What that means is that if you own a piece of property worth $100,000, you will only get taxed on $50,000 of that.

The amendment, which originated with the Florida Legislature, reads:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed valuation of homestead property greater than $100,000 and up to $125,000 for all levies other than school district levies. The amendment shall take effect January 1, 2019.

So what that basically means is another tax exemption of up to $25,000 for homes worth between $100,000 to $125,000 and the full $25,000 for homes worth more than $125,000.

That means a much bigger tax break for those homeowners, but it does not include school district taxes. This puts more money in the pocket of individual homeowners, but it shifts the tax burden to others.

According to the League of Women Voters (which is opposed to the amendment), it will cost cities and counties $687.6 million a year in tax revenue, which will either lead to cuts in services or an increased local tax burden.

If you vote yes, you will vote to increase tax exemptions for homeowners, putting more money in their pockets, but likely decreasing the amount of money available for local services or requiring other taxes be raised to make up the difference.

If you vote no, tax exemptions for homeowners will remain as they are.