Florida voters will decide on constitutional amendment to adjust homestead exemption for inflation

The Florida State Legislature approved House Joint Resolution 7017, a constitutional amendment, on March 6. Voters will decide on the amendment at the general election in Nov. 2024.

The amendment would provide for an annual inflation adjustment for the value of the homestead property tax exemption that applies to non-school taxes. The adjustment would be made every year on Jan. 1 based on the percent change in the Consumer Price Index reported by the U.S. Department of Labor if the change is positive.

As of 2024, in Florida, property tax rates were set by counties, school districts, cities, and special districts. Homes in Florida are assessed at market value, minus the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption reduces the taxable value of a property. Every primary residence is eligible for a $25,000 homestead exemption, which exempts that amount from all taxes. Another $25,000 homestead exemption is applied on a homestead’s value between $50,000 and $75,000, which exempts that amount from all taxes except school district taxes.

The amendment was introduced as House Joint Resolution 7017 on Jan. 9, 2024. It was approved in the House on Feb. 1, 2024, with 86 representatives voting in favor and 29 representatives voting against. Among House Democrats, five were in favor and 29 were opposed. Among House Republicans, 81 were in favor and none were opposed. The amendment was approved in the Senate on March 6, by a vote of 25-15. Of Senate Republicans, 25 were in favor and three were opposed. All 12 Senate Democrats voted against the amendment.

To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a 60% vote is required in both the Florida State Senate and the Florida House of Representatives. Additionally, a 60% vote is required from voters for the amendment to be adopted.

In 2022, the state legislature referred three amendments to the ballot, which were all defeated. They received more than a majority of votes but failed to reach the 60% supermajority requirement.

The legislature referred two constitutional amendments to the 2024 ballot during last year’s legislative session. Amendment 1 would change school board elections from nonpartisan to partisan elections beginning in 2026. Amendment 2 would create a state constitutional right to hunt and fish.

Voters in Florida will also decide on two citizen-initiated ballot measures in November—Amendment 3 and Amendment 4—pending the state supreme court’s review. Amendment 3 would legalize marijuana, and Amendment 4 would provide a state constitutional right for abortion.

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