Florida Senate - 2015 SJR 652 By Senator Flores 37-00601-15 2015652__ 1 Senate Joint Resolution 2 A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 6 3 of Article VII of the State Constitution to revise the 4 homestead tax exemption that may be granted by 5 counties or municipalities, if authorized by general 6 law, for the assessed value of property with a just 7 value less than $250,000 which is owned by persons age 8 65 or older who meet certain residence and income 9 requirements, to specify that just value shall be 10 determined at the time of the owner’s initial 11 application for the exemption. 12 13 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 That the following amendment to Section 6 of Article VII of 16 the State Constitution is agreed to and shall be submitted to 17 the electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 18 general election or at an earlier special election specifically 19 authorized by law for that purpose: 20 ARTICLE VII 21 FINANCE AND TAXATION 22 SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.— 23 (a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to 24 real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the 25 owner, or another legally or naturally dependent upon the owner, 26 shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for 27 special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five 28 thousand dollars and, for all levies other than school district 29 levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty thousand 30 dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon 31 establishment of right thereto in the manner prescribed by law. 32 The real estate may be held by legal or equitable title, by the 33 entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly 34 by stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or 35 member’s proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a 36 leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The 37 exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll 38 until such roll is first determined to be in compliance with the 39 provisions of section 4 by a state agency designated by general 40 law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any 41 amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of 42 homestead property at less than just value. 43 (b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any 44 individual or family unit or with respect to any residential 45 unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real estate 46 assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock 47 or membership in a corporation, the value of the proportion 48 which the interest in the corporation bears to the assessed 49 value of the property. 50 (c) By general law and subject to conditions specified 51 therein, the Legislature may provide to renters, who are 52 permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on all ad valorem tax 53 levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and 54 amount established by general law. 55 (d) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or 56 municipalities, for the purpose of their respective tax levies 57 and subject to the provisions of general law, to grant either or 58 both of the following additional homestead tax exemptions: 59 (1) An exemption not exceeding fifty thousand dollars to a 60
anyperson who has the legal or equitable title to real estate 61 and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, and62 who has attained age sixty-five, and whose household income, as 63 defined by general law, does not exceed twenty thousand dollars; 64 or 65 (2) An exemption equal to the assessed value of the 66 property to a anyperson who has the legal or equitable title to 67 real estate with a just value less than two hundred and fifty 68 thousand dollars, as determined at the time of the owner’s 69 initial application for the exemption, and who has maintained 70 thereon the permanent residence of the owner for not less than 71 twenty-five years, andwho has attained age sixty-five, and 72 whose household income does not exceed the income limitation 73 prescribed in paragraph (1). 74 75 The general law must allow counties and municipalities to grant 76 these additional exemptions, within the limits prescribed in 77 this subsection, by ordinance adopted in the manner prescribed 78 by general law, and must provide for the periodic adjustment of 79 the income limitation prescribed in this subsection for changes 80 in the cost of living. 81 (e) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially or 82 totally permanently disabled shall receive a discount from the 83 amount of the ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead 84 property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability was 85 combat related and the veteran was honorably discharged upon 86 separation from military service. The discount shall be in a 87 percentage equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent, 88 service-connected disability as determined by the United States 89 Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount 90 granted by this subsection, an applicant must submit to the 91 county property appraiser, by March 1, an official letter from 92 the United States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the 93 percentage of the veteran’s service-connected disability and 94 such evidence that reasonably identifies the disability as 95 combat related and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge. 96 If the property appraiser denies the request for a discount, the 97 appraiser must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons 98 for the denial, and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature 99 may, by general law, waive the annual application requirement in 100 subsequent years. This subsection is self-executing and does not 101 require implementing legislation. 102 (f) By general law and subject to conditions and 103 limitations specified therein, the Legislature may provide ad 104 valorem tax relief equal to the total amount or a portion of the 105 ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead property to the: 106 (1) Surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service 107 connected causes while on active duty as a member of the United 108 States Armed Forces. 109 (2) Surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the 110 line of duty. 111 (3) As used in this subsection and as further defined by 112 general law, the term: 113 a. “First responder” means a law enforcement officer, a 114 correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical 115 technician, or a paramedic. 116 b. “In the line of duty” means arising out of and in the 117 actual performance of duty required by employment as a first 118 responder. 119 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 120 placed on the ballot: 121 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 122 ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6 123 HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN SENIOR, LOW-INCOME, 124 LONG-TERM RESIDENTS; DETERMINATION OF JUST VALUE.—Proposing an 125 amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax 126 exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities, if 127 authorized by general law, for the assessed value of property 128 with a just value less than $250,000 which is owned by a person 129 age 65 or older who meets certain residence and income 130 requirements, to specify that just value shall be determined at 131 the time of the owner’s initial application for the exemption.