Amendment 1 property tax break would give homeowners $250-$750

Constitutional amendments require 60 percent of vote for approval

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Amendment 1, a proposed constitutional adjustment to the maximum homestead exemption allowed for Florida homeowners, would create a financial backlash for cities and counties across the state, according to anti-amendment circles.

The Florida Association of Counties calls the $75,000 "super exemption" an amendment that is “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” 

The association projected a “negative fiscal impact of $752.7 million in the first year.”

The proposed constitutional amendment would increase the current homestead exemption by $25,000 for the first $100,000 of value up to $125,000.

A $200,000 home would see the exemption change from $50,000 to $75,000.

Orange County senior public information officer Doreen Overstreet told News 6 on Monday that the latest increased property values in Orange County point to an anticipated loss of “approximately $25 million in property tax revenue should Amendment 1 pass.” 

According to county data, lost tax revenue would break down like this: county, $16 million; fire, $5 million; and sheriff, $4 million.

State Rep. Bob Cortes, of Seminole County’s District 30, co-sponsored the amendment and said he understands there will be adjustments for taxpayers and local governments.

“I believe it (Amendment 1) is a plus,” Cortes said, “because this isn’t something the Legislature is imposing. This is something the taxpayers have control over.”

Amber Hughes, of the Florida League Cities, said passage of the amendment would be a mistake.

[MORE: What to know about Florida's 12 amendments on 2018 ballot]

In an email to News 6, Hughes said: “Florida's property tax system is already a complicated mess and Amendment 1 makes it worse, more complicated and less fair. Most of the benefits of Amendment 1 will go to less than one quarter of Florida properties. Amendment 1 shifts a bigger burden onto small business owners, manufacturers and working families.”  

Constitutional amendments require 60 percent of the vote to be approved.

If it passes, the amendment would go into effect Jan. 1.

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