- Three constitutional amendments are on the ballot this November, requiring 60 percent approval to pass
- Two are property tax measures, one related to home values, the other giving homestead exemptions to specific members of the public workforce
- Voters will also decide the fate of the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years
In addition to the slate of general election candidates and local issues on the ballot in November, three constitutional amendments face a statewide referendum this year. Two are related to property taxes, one relates to a controversial mechanism initially designed to give citizens more control over the constitutional amendment process.
We break down all three, here:
Amendment 1: Limitation on Assessment of Real Property Used for Residential Purpose
The idea behind Amendment 1 is to remove property tax penalties for homeowners who make improvements to their property that would help mitigate flood damage. For example, if a home or the property upon which it is situated has some flood resistance measures installed on the property, and the home’s value goes up accordingly, the amendment would seek to exempt those improvements from the property tax assessement. The amendment authorizes the legislature to put prohibitions in place on property tax assessments on such improvements.
Ballot summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective January 1, 2023, to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit the consideration of any change or improvement made to real property used for residential purposes to improve the property’s resistance to flood damage in determining the assessed value of such property for ad valorem taxation purposes.
Link for more information: Amendment 1
Amendment 2: Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission
In 2017-2018, a broad range of political appointees convened to consider a number of proposed constitutional amendments to put before voters. On the surface, the process sounds like a good idea, giving our state another method, aside from the petition process, with which to amend the state’s constitution. But no sooner had the appointees assembled, lobbyists and other special interests immediately started attempting to influence the process. While the commission members did an admirable job, the end result was a hodge-podge of combined ballot questions that confused voters with overly simplified descriptions of highly complex issues.
Amendment 2 would abolish the commission and leave voters with the simpler, traditional petition process to add constitutional amendment questions to the ballot.
Ballot summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets at 20-year intervals and is scheduled to next convene in 2037, as a method of submitting proposed amendments or revisions to the State Constitution to electors of the state for approval. This amendment does not affect the ability to revise or amend the State Constitution through citizen initiative, constitutional convention, the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, or legislative joint resolution.
Link for more information: Amendment 2
Amendment 3: Additional Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Specified Critical Public Services Workforce
Seeking to help critical public service sector workers live in the community in which they serve, this amendment is designed to grant a homestead tax exemption of up to $50,000 for certain members of the the public services workforce. The specified carve out includes teachers, police, firefighters, corrections officers, EMTs and paramedics, military personnel and even child welfare professionals.
Ballot summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to grant an additional homestead tax exemption for non-school levies of up to $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property owned by classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, and Florida National Guard members. This amendment shall take effect January 1, 2023.
Link for more information: Amendment 3