NOVEMBER 6th ELECTIONS
4 AMENDMENTS PROPOSED
Not just Palm Beach County, but all Florida voters will face a flurry of proposed amendments at this upcoming November 2012 voting election. Educate yourself before you go to the polls on the proposed amendments and make a knowledgeable decision you can live with for the next four years or perhaps longer. Educate yourself on the pro’s and the con’s and try to see past the lobbying groups advertising. Check out all the proposed amendments in full detail at Florida Division of Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Referendum, 2012 Proposed Constitutional Amendments www.election.dos.state.fl.us/consti-amend-index.
Four of the proposed amendments will potentially affect property taxes for various groups. This will effect groups ranging from first time homeowners to disabled veterans. Everyone should sit up and take notice. Make your vote count and remember there are two sides to every good debate.
The proposal of Amendment 2 provides for an additional $25,000 homestead exemption for a disabled veteran or dependent.
The proposed amendment garnering the most attention is Amendment 4. The proposed amendment would prohibit increases in the assessed value of homestead property if the fair market value decreases, reduces the limitation on annual assessment increases to non-homestead property; and provides an additional homestead exemption. Check it out www.election.dos.state.fl./constitutional-amendments/2012-proposed.shtml .
The proposal of Amendment 9 would provide for an additional $25,000 homestead exemption for the surviving spouse of a deceased military veteran or first responder.
Finally, with the proposal of Amendment 11, this amendment would offer an additional exemption for residents age 65 and older with an income less than $25,000 annually.
It goes without saying, our veterans and first responders (and families) deserve a lot of benefits! As one can see, the biggest issue would be that it makes our tax system much more complicated and it treats similar properties differently. It has been estimated that the taxing districts will lose an estimated $1.7 billion over the next four years if approved. It could possibly result in cuts to schools, fire departments, police departments and other services funded by property taxes. On the other hand, with Amendment 4, first time homeowners could get a temporary break by receiving an additional homestead exemption that would phase out over 5 years. It would reduce the cap on property tax increases from 10% to 5% on non-homestead properties, like vacation homes and businesses, perhaps stimulating our economy.
The question is always a delicate one to be answered by “the people of this great state”. Get to the polls Stuart, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and North Palm Beach registered voters! Let your voice be heard!