Florida Senate - 2022 SJR 1746 By Senator Brodeur 9-01879-22 20221746__ 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 authorize the 5 legislature, by general law, to grant an additional 6 homestead property tax exemption on $50,000 of the 7 assessed value of homestead property owned by 8 classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, 9 correctional officers, firefighters, child welfare 10 services professionals, active duty members of the 11 United States Armed Forces, and members of the Florida 12 National Guard. 13 14 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 That the following amendment to Section 6 of Article VII 17 and the creation of a new section in Article XII of the State 18 Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the 19 electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 20 general election or at an earlier special election specifically 21 authorized by law for that purpose: 22 ARTICLE VII 23 FINANCE AND TAXATION 24 SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.— 25 (a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to 26 real estate and maintains thereon the permanent residence of the 27 owner, or another legally or naturally dependent upon the owner, 28 shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for 29 special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five 30 thousand dollars and, for all levies other than school district 31 levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty thousand 32 dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon 33 establishment of right thereto in the manner prescribed by law. 34 The real estate may be held by legal or equitable title, by the 35 entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly 36 by stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or 37 member’s proprietary interest in a corporation owning a fee or a 38 leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The 39 exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll 40 until such roll is first determined to be in compliance with the 41 provisions of section 4 by a state agency designated by general 42 law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any 43 amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of 44 homestead property at less than just value. 45 (b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any 46 individual or family unit or with respect to any residential 47 unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real estate 48 assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock 49 or membership in a corporation, the value of the proportion 50 which the interest in the corporation bears to the assessed 51 value of the property. 52 (c) By general law and subject to conditions specified 53 therein, the Legislature may provide to renters, who are 54 permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on all ad valorem tax 55 levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and 56 amount established by general law. 57 (d) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or 58 municipalities, for the purpose of their respective tax levies 59 and subject to the provisions of general law, to grant either or 60 both of the following additional homestead tax exemptions: 61 (1) An exemption not exceeding fifty thousand dollars to a 62 person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate and 63 maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner, who has 64 attained age sixty-five, and whose household income, as defined 65 by general law, does not exceed twenty thousand dollars; or 66 (2) An exemption equal to the assessed value of the 67 property to a person who has the legal or equitable title to 68 real estate with a just value less than two hundred and fifty 69 thousand dollars, as determined in the first tax year that the 70 owner applies and is eligible for the exemption, and who has 71 maintained thereon the permanent residence of the owner for not 72 less than twenty-five years, who has attained age sixty-five, 73 and whose household income does not exceed the income limitation 74 prescribed in paragraph (1). 75 76 The general law must allow counties and municipalities to grant 77 these additional exemptions, within the limits prescribed in 78 this subsection, by ordinance adopted in the manner prescribed 79 by general law, and must provide for the periodic adjustment of 80 the income limitation prescribed in this subsection for changes 81 in the cost of living. 82 (e)(1) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially 83 or totally permanently disabled shall receive a discount from 84 the amount of the ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead 85 property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability was 86 combat related and the veteran was honorably discharged upon 87 separation from military service. The discount shall be in a 88 percentage equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent, 89 service-connected disability as determined by the United States 90 Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount 91 granted by this paragraph, an applicant must submit to the 92 county property appraiser, by March 1, an official letter from 93 the United States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the 94 percentage of the veteran’s service-connected disability and 95 such evidence that reasonably identifies the disability as 96 combat related and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge. 97 If the property appraiser denies the request for a discount, the 98 appraiser must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons 99 for the denial, and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature 100 may, by general law, waive the annual application requirement in 101 subsequent years. 102 (2) If a veteran who receives the discount described in 103 paragraph (1) predeceases his or her spouse, and if, upon the 104 death of the veteran, the surviving spouse holds the legal or 105 beneficial title to the homestead property and permanently 106 resides thereon, the discount carries over to the surviving 107 spouse until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes 108 of the homestead property. If the surviving spouse sells or 109 otherwise disposes of the property, a discount not to exceed the 110 dollar amount granted from the most recent ad valorem tax roll 111 may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s new homestead 112 property, if used as his or her permanent residence and he or 113 she has not remarried. 114 (3) This subsection is self-executing and does not require 115 implementing legislation. 116 (f) By general law and subject to conditions and 117 limitations specified therein, the Legislature may provide ad 118 valorem tax relief equal to the total amount or a portion of the 119 ad valorem tax otherwise owed on homestead property to: 120 (1) The surviving spouse of a veteran who died from 121 service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the 122 United States Armed Forces. 123 (2) The surviving spouse of a first responder who died in 124 the line of duty. 125 (3) A first responder who is totally and permanently 126 disabled as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the 127 line of duty. Causal connection between a disability and service 128 in the line of duty shall not be presumed but must be determined 129 as provided by general law. For purposes of this paragraph, the 130 term “disability” does not include a chronic condition or 131 chronic disease, unless the injury sustained in the line of duty 132 was the sole cause of the chronic condition or chronic disease. 133 134 As used in this subsection and as further defined by general 135 law, the term “first responder” means a law enforcement officer, 136 a correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical 137 technician, or a paramedic, and the term “in the line of duty” 138 means arising out of and in the actual performance of duty 139 required by employment as a first responder. 140 (g) By general law and subject to conditions and 141 limitations specified therein, the Legislature may provide an 142 additional homestead exemption on the assessed valuation of 143 greater than one hundred thousand dollars and up to one hundred 144 fifty thousand dollars to a classroom teacher, a law enforcement 145 officer, a correctional officer, a firefighter, a child welfare 146 services professional, an active duty member of the United 147 States Armed Forces, or a member of the Florida National Guard 148 who has the legal or equitable title to real estate and 149 maintains thereon the permanent residence of the owner. 150 ARTICLE XII 151 SCHEDULE 152 Additional homestead property tax exemption for specified 153 critical public services workforce.—This section and the 154 amendment to Section 6 of Article VII, authorizing the 155 legislature to grant an additional homestead property tax 156 exemption on $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property 157 owned by classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, 158 correctional officers, firefighters, child welfare services 159 professionals, active duty members of the United States Armed 160 Forces, and members of the Florida National Guard, shall take 161 effect January 1, 2023. 162 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 163 placed on the ballot: 164 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 165 ARTICLE VII, SECTION 6 166 ARTICLE XII 167 ADDITIONAL HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR SPECIFIED 168 CRITICAL PUBLIC SERVICES WORKFORCE.—Proposing an amendment to 169 the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general 170 law, to grant an additional homestead tax exemption of up to 171 $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property owned by 172 classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional 173 officers, firefighters, child welfare services professionals, 174 active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, and 175 members of the Florida National Guard. This amendment shall take 176 effect January 1, 2023.