Florida Senate - 2011                                    SJR 592
       By Senator Bennett
       21-00647-11                                            2011592__
    1                       Senate Joint Resolution                     
    2         A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 6
    3         of Article VII of the State Constitution to expand the
    4         availability of the property tax discount on the
    5         homesteads of veterans who became disabled as the
    6         result of a combat injury to veterans who were not
    7         Florida residents when they entered the military.
    9  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         That the following amendment to Section 6 of Article VII of
   12  the State Constitution is agreed to and shall be submitted to
   13  the electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next
   14  general election or at an earlier special election specifically
   15  authorized by law for that purpose:
   16                             ARTICLE VII                           
   17                        FINANCE AND TAXATION                       
   18         SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.—
   19         (a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to
   20  real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the
   21  owner, or another legally or naturally dependent upon the owner,
   22  shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for
   23  special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five
   24  thousand dollars and, for all levies other than school district
   25  levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty thousand
   26  dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon
   27  establishment of right thereto in the manner prescribed by law.
   28  The real estate may be held by legal or equitable title, by the
   29  entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly
   30  by stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or
   31  member’s proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a
   32  leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The
   33  exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll
   34  until such roll is first determined to be in compliance with the
   35  provisions of section 4 by a state agency designated by general
   36  law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any
   37  amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of
   38  homestead property at less than just value.
   39         (b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any
   40  individual or family unit or with respect to any residential
   41  unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real estate
   42  assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock
   43  or membership in a corporation, the value of the proportion
   44  which the interest in the corporation bears to the assessed
   45  value of the property.
   46         (c) By general law and subject to conditions specified
   47  therein, the Legislature may provide to renters, who are
   48  permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on all ad valorem tax
   49  levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and
   50  amount established by general law.
   51         (d) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or
   52  municipalities, for the purpose of their respective tax levies
   53  and subject to the provisions of general law, to grant an
   54  additional homestead tax exemption not exceeding fifty thousand
   55  dollars to any person who has the legal or equitable title to
   56  real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the
   57  owner and who has attained age sixty-five and whose household
   58  income, as defined by general law, does not exceed twenty
   59  thousand dollars. The general law must allow counties and
   60  municipalities to grant this additional exemption, within the
   61  limits prescribed in this subsection, by ordinance adopted in
   62  the manner prescribed by general law, and must provide for the
   63  periodic adjustment of the income limitation prescribed in this
   64  subsection for changes in the cost of living.
   65         (e) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially or
   66  totally permanently disabled shall receive a discount from the
   67  amount of the ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead
   68  property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability was
   69  combat related, the veteran was a resident of this state at the
   70  time of entering the military service of the United States, and
   71  the veteran was honorably discharged upon separation from
   72  military service. The discount shall be in a percentage equal to
   73  the percentage of the veteran’s permanent, service-connected
   74  disability as determined by the United States Department of
   75  Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount granted by this
   76  subsection, an applicant must submit to the county property
   77  appraiser, by March 1, proof of residency at the time of
   78  entering military service, an official letter from the United
   79  States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the percentage of
   80  the veteran’s service-connected disability and such evidence
   81  that reasonably identifies the disability as combat related, and
   82  a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge. If the property
   83  appraiser denies the request for a discount, the appraiser must
   84  notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial,
   85  and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature may, by general
   86  law, waive the annual application requirement in subsequent
   87  years. This subsection shall take effect December 7, 2006, is
   88  self-executing, and does not require implementing legislation.
   89         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
   90  placed on the ballot:
   91                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT                     
   92                       ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6                      
   94  amendment to the State Constitution to expand the availability
   95  of the property discount on the homesteads of veterans who
   96  became disabled as the result of a combat injury to veterans who
   97  were not Florida residents when they entered the military.