Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SJR 492
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  01/25/2016           .                                

       The Committee on Finance and Tax (Flores) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with ballot and title amendments)
    3         Delete everything after the resolving clause
    4  and insert:
    5         That the following amendment to Section 6 of Article VII
    6  and the creation of a new section in Article XII of the State
    7  Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the
    8  electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next
    9  general election or at an earlier special election specifically
   10  authorized by law for that purpose:
   11                             ARTICLE VII                           
   12                        FINANCE AND TAXATION                       
   13         SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.—
   14         (a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to
   15  real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the
   16  owner, or another legally or naturally dependent upon the owner,
   17  shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for
   18  special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five
   19  thousand dollars and, for all levies other than school district
   20  levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty thousand
   21  dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon
   22  establishment of right thereto in the manner prescribed by law.
   23  The real estate may be held by legal or equitable title, by the
   24  entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly
   25  by stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or
   26  member’s proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a
   27  leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The
   28  exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll
   29  until such roll is first determined to be in compliance with the
   30  provisions of section 4 by a state agency designated by general
   31  law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any
   32  amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of
   33  homestead property at less than just value.
   34         (b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any
   35  individual or family unit or with respect to any residential
   36  unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real estate
   37  assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock
   38  or membership in a corporation, the value of the proportion
   39  which the interest in the corporation bears to the assessed
   40  value of the property.
   41         (c) By general law and subject to conditions specified
   42  therein, the Legislature may provide to renters, who are
   43  permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on all ad valorem tax
   44  levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and
   45  amount established by general law.
   46         (d) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or
   47  municipalities, for the purpose of their respective tax levies
   48  and subject to the provisions of general law, to grant either or
   49  both of the following additional homestead tax exemptions:
   50         (1) An exemption not exceeding fifty thousand dollars to a
   51  any person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate
   52  and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, and
   53  who has attained age sixty-five, and whose household income, as
   54  defined by general law, does not exceed twenty thousand dollars;
   55  or
   56         (2) An exemption equal to the assessed value of the
   57  property to a any person who has the legal or equitable title to
   58  real estate with a just value less than two hundred and fifty
   59  thousand dollars, as determined in the first tax year that the
   60  owner applies and is eligible for the exemption, and who has
   61  maintained thereon the permanent residence of the owner for not
   62  less than twenty-five years, and who has attained age sixty
   63  five, and whose household income does not exceed the income
   64  limitation prescribed in paragraph (1).
   66  The general law must allow counties and municipalities to grant
   67  these additional exemptions, within the limits prescribed in
   68  this subsection, by ordinance adopted in the manner prescribed
   69  by general law, and must provide for the periodic adjustment of
   70  the income limitation prescribed in this subsection for changes
   71  in the cost of living.
   72         (e) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially or
   73  totally permanently disabled shall receive a discount from the
   74  amount of the ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead
   75  property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability was
   76  combat related and the veteran was honorably discharged upon
   77  separation from military service. The discount shall be in a
   78  percentage equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent,
   79  service-connected disability as determined by the United States
   80  Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount
   81  granted by this subsection, an applicant must submit to the
   82  county property appraiser, by March 1, an official letter from
   83  the United States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the
   84  percentage of the veteran’s service-connected disability and
   85  such evidence that reasonably identifies the disability as
   86  combat related and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge.
   87  If the property appraiser denies the request for a discount, the
   88  appraiser must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons
   89  for the denial, and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature
   90  may, by general law, waive the annual application requirement in
   91  subsequent years. This subsection is self-executing and does not
   92  require implementing legislation.
   93         (f) By general law and subject to conditions and
   94  limitations specified therein, the Legislature may provide ad
   95  valorem tax relief equal to the total amount or a portion of the
   96  ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead property to the:
   97         (1) Surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service
   98  connected causes while on active duty as a member of the United
   99  States Armed Forces.
  100         (2) Surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the
  101  line of duty.
  102         (3) As used in this subsection and as further defined by
  103  general law, the term:
  104         a. “First responder” means a law enforcement officer, a
  105  correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical
  106  technician, or a paramedic.
  107         b. “In the line of duty” means arising out of and in the
  108  actual performance of duty required by employment as a first
  109  responder.
  110                             ARTICLE XII                           
  111                              SCHEDULE                             
  112         Additional ad valorem exemption for persons age sixty-five
  113  or older.—This section and the amendment to Section 6 of Article
  114  VII revising the just value determination for the additional ad
  115  valorem tax exemption for persons age sixty-five or older shall
  116  take effect January 1, 2017, following approval by the electors,
  117  and shall operate retroactively to January 1, 2013, for any
  118  person who received the exemption under paragraph (2) of Section
  119  6(d) of Article VII before January 1, 2017.
  121  ====== B A L L O T  S T A T E M E N T  A M E N D M E N T ======
  122  And the ballot statement is amended as follows:
  123         Delete everything after the resolving clause
  124  and insert:
  125                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT                     
  126                       ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6                      
  127                             ARTICLE XII                           
  130  amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax
  131  exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for
  132  property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain
  133  senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just
  134  value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and
  135  is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect
  136  January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted
  137  before January 1, 2017.
  139  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  140  And the title is amended as follows:
  141         Delete everything before the resolving clause
  142  and insert:
  143                       Senate Joint Resolution                     
  144         A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 6
  145         of Article VII and the creation of a new section in
  146         Article XII of the State Constitution to revise the
  147         homestead tax exemption that may be granted by
  148         counties or municipalities, if authorized by general
  149         law, for the assessed value of property with a just
  150         value less than $250,000 and owned by persons age 65
  151         or older who meet certain residence and income
  152         requirements to specify that just value shall be
  153         determined in the first tax year that the owner
  154         applies and is eligible for the exemption and to
  155         provide retroactive applicability and an effective
  156         date.