Florida Senate - 2016                                    SJR 492
       By Senator Flores
       37-00700-16                                            2016492__
    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 and owned by persons age 65
    8         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.
   13  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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  any person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate
   61  and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, and
   62  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 any person 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, and who has attained age sixty-five, and
   72  whose household income does not exceed the income limitation
   73  prescribed in paragraph (1).
   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                      
  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 and owned by a person age
  129  65 or older who meets certain residence and income requirements
  130  to specify that just value shall be determined at the time of
  131  the owner’s initial application for the exemption.