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Florida Constitutional Amendments

by John Heatley, Orlando, November 2018

 

Florida voters were faced with 12 constitutional amendments on the November 6 ballot. Two measures dealt with property taxes, and a third pertained to future tax increases approved by the Legislature.

 

Each amendment needed at least 60% approval, in order to be added to Florida’s Constitution.

 

Amendment 1 Fails

 

Amendment 1 was narrowly defeated, getting only 58% approval. It would have increased the homestead exemption by $25,000 for the first $100,000 of value, up to $125,000. For example, a $200,000 home would have seen the exemption change from $50,000 to $75,000.

 

Amendment 2 Passes

 

Amendment 2 was passed by a 67% margin. It makes the 10% cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases, which was set to expire January 1, 2019, permanent. The cap does not apply to school district taxes. Non-homestead parcels include second homes, rental properties, non-residential properties such as commercial real estate, and vacant land.

 

Amendment 5 Passes

 

Amendment 5 was approved by 66% of voters. It requires a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber, instead of a majority vote, to enact new taxes or fees, or to increase existing ones. Currently, 15 states require a supermajority vote for at least some tax increases.