Florida Senate - 2016 CS for SJR 492 By the Committee on Finance and Tax; and Senator Flores 593-02544-16 2016492c1 1 Senate Joint Resolution 2 A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 6 3 of Article VII and the creation of a new section in 4 Article XII of the State Constitution to revise the 5 homestead tax exemption that may be granted by 6 counties or municipalities, if authorized by general 7 law, for the assessed value of property with a just 8 value less than $250,000 and owned by persons age 65 9 or older who meet certain residence and income 10 requirements to specify that just value shall be 11 determined in the first tax year that the owner 12 applies and is eligible for the exemption and to 13 provide retroactive applicability and an effective 14 date. 15 16 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 That the following amendment to Section 6 of Article VII 19 and the creation of a new section in Article XII of the State 20 Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the 21 electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 22 general election or at an earlier special election specifically 23 authorized by law for that purpose: 24 ARTICLE VII 25 FINANCE AND TAXATION 26 SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.— 27 (a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to 28 real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the 29 owner, or another legally or naturally dependent upon the owner, 30 shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for 31 special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five 32 thousand dollars and, for all levies other than school district 33 levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty thousand 34 dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon 35 establishment of right thereto in the manner prescribed by law. 36 The real estate may be held by legal or equitable title, by the 37 entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly 38 by stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or 39 member’s proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a 40 leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The 41 exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll 42 until such roll is first determined to be in compliance with the 43 provisions of section 4 by a state agency designated by general 44 law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any 45 amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of 46 homestead property at less than just value. 47 (b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any 48 individual or family unit or with respect to any residential 49 unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real estate 50 assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock 51 or membership in a corporation, the value of the proportion 52 which the interest in the corporation bears to the assessed 53 value of the property. 54 (c) By general law and subject to conditions specified 55 therein, the Legislature may provide to renters, who are 56 permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on all ad valorem tax 57 levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and 58 amount established by general law. 59 (d) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or 60 municipalities, for the purpose of their respective tax levies 61 and subject to the provisions of general law, to grant either or 62 both of the following additional homestead tax exemptions: 63 (1) An exemption not exceeding fifty thousand dollars to a 64
anyperson who has the legal or equitable title to real estate 65 and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, and66 who has attained age sixty-five, and whose household income, as 67 defined by general law, does not exceed twenty thousand dollars; 68 or 69 (2) An exemption equal to the assessed value of the 70 property to a anyperson who has the legal or equitable title to 71 real estate with a just value less than two hundred and fifty 72 thousand dollars, as determined in the first tax year that the 73 owner applies and is eligible for the exemption, and who has 74 maintained thereon the permanent residence of the owner for not 75 less than twenty-five years, andwho has attained age sixty 76 five, and whose household income does not exceed the income 77 limitation prescribed in paragraph (1). 78 79 The general law must allow counties and municipalities to grant 80 these additional exemptions, within the limits prescribed in 81 this subsection, by ordinance adopted in the manner prescribed 82 by general law, and must provide for the periodic adjustment of 83 the income limitation prescribed in this subsection for changes 84 in the cost of living. 85 (e) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially or 86 totally permanently disabled shall receive a discount from the 87 amount of the ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead 88 property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability was 89 combat related and the veteran was honorably discharged upon 90 separation from military service. The discount shall be in a 91 percentage equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent, 92 service-connected disability as determined by the United States 93 Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount 94 granted by this subsection, an applicant must submit to the 95 county property appraiser, by March 1, an official letter from 96 the United States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the 97 percentage of the veteran’s service-connected disability and 98 such evidence that reasonably identifies the disability as 99 combat related and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge. 100 If the property appraiser denies the request for a discount, the 101 appraiser must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons 102 for the denial, and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature 103 may, by general law, waive the annual application requirement in 104 subsequent years. This subsection is self-executing and does not 105 require implementing legislation. 106 (f) By general law and subject to conditions and 107 limitations specified therein, the Legislature may provide ad 108 valorem tax relief equal to the total amount or a portion of the 109 ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead property to the: 110 (1) Surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service 111 connected causes while on active duty as a member of the United 112 States Armed Forces. 113 (2) Surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the 114 line of duty. 115 (3) As used in this subsection and as further defined by 116 general law, the term: 117 a. “First responder” means a law enforcement officer, a 118 correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical 119 technician, or a paramedic. 120 b. “In the line of duty” means arising out of and in the 121 actual performance of duty required by employment as a first 122 responder. 123 ARTICLE XII 124 SCHEDULE 125 Additional ad valorem exemption for persons age sixty-five 126 or older.—This section and the amendment to Section 6 of Article 127 VII revising the just value determination for the additional ad 128 valorem tax exemption for persons age sixty-five or older shall 129 take effect January 1, 2017, following approval by the electors, 130 and shall operate retroactively to January 1, 2013, for any 131 person who received the exemption under paragraph (2) of Section 132 6(d) of Article VII before January 1, 2017. 133 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 134 placed on the ballot: 135 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 136 ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6 137 ARTICLE XII 138 HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN SENIOR, LOW-INCOME, 139 LONG-TERM RESIDENTS; DETERMINATION OF JUST VALUE.—Proposing an 140 amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax 141 exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for 142 property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain 143 senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just 144 value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and 145 is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect 146 January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted 147 before January 1, 2017.