PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- It’s the first constitutional amendment Florida voters will see on the ballot -- Amendment One.
- Florida residents to vote on Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption
- Amendment to give additional tax break to homestead property
- Property must have assessed value greater than $100,000
The amendment is called “Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption.”
It gives an additional tax break to homestead property with an assessed value that’s greater than $100,000.
“This additional homestead exemption is based on your assessed value, not your just or market value,” Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez emphasized. “So there are folks out there who will be looking and saying my house is worth $250,000 on the market today so I’m going to benefit. They may not if they’ve been in their home a long time and their assessed value is below $100,000.”
Homestead property assessed greater than $100,000 and under $125,000 would get a partial savings. Homestead property assessed at $125,000 or more would get the entire savings.
The full tax break would be between $200 to $400 each year for Florida homeowners who qualify.
In Pinellas County, property appraiser Mike Twitty developed a way for homeowners in most counties to see how they may be impacted by Amendment One. It's called the third homestead exemption estimator.
“This tool will simply tell you if you qualify and what your potential savings might be,” Twitty said.
If passed, state officials have estimated Amendment One could have a $645 million impact in the first year.
“Unnecessary,” said Pinellas County Commission Chair Kenneth Welch.
City and county officials across Florida have complained that Amendment One takes away funding from government services. That includes public safety, health and human services, roads and transportation, and park and recreation.
“We have a whole category of contingent items that will not be funded if Amendment One passes,” Welch said.
Homeowner and retired law enforcement officer Fred Ryder said that is why he’s voting against Amendment One.
“You can only think what’ll have if you cut taxes,” Ryder said.
Amendment One was put on the ballot by the Florida legislature. The amendment needs 60 percent of voter approval to be put into the Florida constitution. If approved, the increased homestead exemption would take affect January 1, 2019.
Voting yes for Amendment One means you want the additional homestead exemption.
Voting no on Amendment One means you want to keep the exemptions the way they are.