With the barrage of campaign media ads that has already started, it is easy to overlook some important Florida Constitutional issues voters will be asked to decide on the November General Election Ballot.
Specifically, there are 11 (eleven) different proposed Florida Constitutional Amendments for voters to consider. The amendments are numbered one through twelve. There is no amendment number seven as it was withdrawn. The Florida Legislature placed the amendments on the ballot. If approved by 60 per cent of the voting electorate, each would become part of the Florida Constitution.
There are five amendments addressing reductions in local property taxes, Amendments 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11 as follows:
|Veterans Disabled Due to Combat Injury; Homestead Property Tax Discount (who were NOT Florida residents when they entered military service).|
|Property Tax Limitation; Property Value Decline: Reduction for Non-Homestead Assessment Increases; Delay of Scheduled Repeal |
|Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder|
|Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption |
|Additional Homestead Exemption for Low-Income Seniors who Maintain Long-Term Residency on Property; Equal to Assessed Value|
The League of Women Voters estimates if these five amendments were to pass; counties, cities, and school boards, etc., would lose more than $1 BILLION in revenue during the first three years of implementation. This lost revenue could result in cuts to essential services and increases in your property taxes to make-up for that loss.
Amendment 5 is titled: State Courts
Despite the simple title, this Amendment adds a requirement that Florida Supreme Court justices appointed by the Governor must also be confirmed by the Florida Senate in order to take office and would give the Legislature expanded powers over repeal of court rules and Judicial Qualifications Commission records.
Amendment 8 is titled: Religious Freedom
This Amendment would repeal a 126-year old constitutional provision that prohibits taxpayer funding of religious institutions and allow the state to use those taxpayer funds for religious institutions.
The other proposed Amendments have the titles of Health Care Services, Prohibition on Public Funding of Abortions, and State Government Revenue Limitation.
The local League of Women Voters has posted its 2012 Florida General Election Voter Guide at www.lwvbcfl.org. Or, you can call their office at 954-735-1311 and leave a message requesting a hard copy be sent to you. Also, the League, in conjunction with the Broward County Libraries, will be hosting a series of “Informed Voter Workshops” at various libraries beginning September 4th and ongoing until late October. Check the workshop times and locations by visiting the libraries’ website at www.broward.org/library.
If you have any questions or comments, please call my office at 954-357-7006 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.