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.
   16  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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  any person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate
   65  and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, and
   66  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 any person 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, and who has attained age sixty
   76  five, and whose household income does not exceed the income
   77  limitation prescribed in paragraph (1).
   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                           
  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.