Amendment 5 passes: Floridians vote to extend Homestead exemption transfer period

Supermajority vote of 60% ‘yes’ required to adopt amendment

FILE - In this April 1, 2020 photo, a "For Sale" sign stands in front of a home that is in the process of being sold. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) (Elaine Thompson, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Florida’s proposed Amendment 5, which would extend the Homestead exemption transfer period, has passed.

On Election Night with a majority of precincts reporting, 75% of voters voted "yes' on Amendment 5 which needed at least 60% approval to pass.

[LIVE RACE RESULTS: Scroll to bottom of story to see all race returns]

Candidate

Votes

%

Yes
7,484,10474%
No
2,562,38726%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(6,097 / 6,097)

RACE DETAILS BELOW

Florida voted on an amendment to the state constitution this November that would increase the period of time a Homestead property tax benefit can be transferred to a new home from two years to three years.

In Florida homeowners can qualify for a homestead exemption on their primary residence, known as the Save Our Homes benefit, reducing the taxable value of a home as much as $50,000, saving about $750 annually.

Right now, if a homeowner moves they have two years to transfer this tax benefit to their new primary residence. Amendment 5 will extend that deadline by another year.

[2020 VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of the presidential election | 6 Florida constitutional amendments to be on ballot in November]

Here’s the ballot summary:

“Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective January 1, 2021, to increase, from 2 years to 3 years, the period of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead."

Read the full text of the amendment here.

The amendment was introduced by Republican Florida Sen. Rick Roth and approved unanimously by the House and later the Senate.

Groups supporting this measure: The measure is backed by Americans for Tax Reform, a political action group that opposes all tax increases.

“There is a 3% annual limit for an increase in the valuation of a homestead property. Currently, after moving to a new primary residence, a Florida resident has two years to transfer their homestead property benefit. Amendment 5 would increase the time period for this transfer to 3 years. This additional flexibility promises to help some taxpayers save on property taxes,” Americans for Tax Reform writes.

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board also recommended voters say “yes” to the amendment, calling it a “commonsense fix.”

Groups opposing the measure:

The League of Women Voters of Florida oppose the amendment, writing "the League has a position that ‘no tax sources or revenue should be specified, limited, exempted, or prohibited in the Constitution.’”

Here’s how you should vote on the measure, depending on whether you support or oppose it, according to Ballotpedia.

  • A “yes” vote supports extending the period during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.
  • A “no” vote opposes extending the period during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.

A 60% supermajority vote was required for the approval of Amendment 5. It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Amendment 5 is one of six amendments Florida voters can expect to see on their ballot in the general election, and the language included with the other ballot measures may be just as difficult for voters to interpret on Election Day, which is why they’re encouraged to brush up on the ballot measures before heading to the polls.

Click here for a closer look at all six amendments.