The 2020 Florida Amendment Series: Amendment 5

The 2020 Florida Amendment Series: Amendment 5

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Bottom Line: This is the fifth in a six-part series covering Florida’s six proposed constitutional amendments for the 2020 Election cycle. Each proposed amendment requires a minimum of 60% support to pass. Here’s how it will appear on the ballot:

No. 5 Constitutional Amendment

BALLOT TITLE: Limitations on Homestead Property Tax Assessments; increased portability period to transfer accrued benefit

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.

This proposed Amendment is about as straight-forward as they come. It also transcended typical party politics in Tallahassee in advancing to our ballots this year. Amendment 5 was introduced by state representative Rick Roth, backed by Americans for Tax Reform and passed with a unanimous vote in both chambers of Florida’s legislature in this year’s session. Portability for homestead exemptions has proved important for Floridians looking to relocate within our state. The average Florida homeowner relocates approximately every seven years. Adding an extra year to the timeline for a homeowner to relocate once selling a home provide added flexibility.

Final Thoughts: The only taxes levied which are potentially as regressive as property taxes are those on investments. Principality there aren’t any taxes which are as egregious as property taxes. Philosophically, do you ever really own your home if you’re forced to pay taxes annually to retain ownership of it? That premise colors my opinion of related issues generally. You’ll find me supportive of any and all efforts to limit the burden of property taxes. Additionally, those who stand to benefit most are those who are relocating for work, often raising families. Under the current rules families can feel rushed or forced to attempt to quickly buy a home in order to maintain their homestead protections.

This proposal would ease that pressure allowing families time to find the appropriate home. Additionally, based on the timing of a property transaction, the current law really isn’t two years for portability – it's up to two years. Under state law January 1st is the date of record for homesteading. Late year transactions are disadvantaged with the current limitations. It’s possible for the portability to be as little as one year and one day. Given all I’ve stated it will come as no surprise that I recommend a Yes vote on Amendment 5.