Constitutional Amendments

Voters approved Amendment 4 by 72 percent during the August primary.  This amendment was proposed by the Legislature to exempt solar energy and other renewable energy devices from counting towards a property’s tax value.  The benefit will now extend to all real properties.  Four other proposed amendments will be on the ballot in November for voter consideration.  All amendments will require a 60 percent majority vote in order to be approved.  You may click here to read the amendments  A description of each follows.

Amendment 1 Supported by major utility companies in the State, this amendment will allow current law to become part of the State’s Constitution.  It was originally intended as an industry counter move to another consumer-oriented solar amendment which failed to make the ballot.  Floridians would continue to have the right to own or lease solar equipment and state and local governments will continue to have the right to regulate such equipment.  Consumer groups oppose the amendment due to specific language which could be interpreted to mean that citizens converting to solar may still be required to pay fees to utility companies.

Amendment 2  This amendment would allow patients suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis to legally purchase and use full-strength medical marijuana.  This will be the second time this amendment has appeared on the ballot. It failed to pass in 2014 when it missed the 60 percent threshold by 2.4 percent.

Amendment 3  Up to 100 percent of all assessed property taxes on homes owned by first responders who become permanently disabled in the line of duty could be waived should this amendment pass.  The Legislature would grant the exemption and determine the qualification process for potential recipients.

Amendment 5  This amendment would clarify the manner in which Florida’s seniors would qualify for a low-income real estate tax exemption.  This legislatively proposed amendment would require a senior’s home to be valued at less than $250,000 the year they apply for the exemption.  The volatility of housing prices would have no affect on the future exemption.

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