Veterans and their families have access to several Florida tax exemptions for homestead property. One more is on the ballot this November: Florida Amendment 6 – Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities. If approved by 60% of voters, it would become effective January 1, 2021.
Amendment 6 would allow the homestead exemption of certain veterans with permanent, combat-related disabilities to pass automatically to the deceased veteran’s surviving spouse. The exemption would remain in effect until the survivor remarries, sells, or otherwise disposes of the property. If the spouse sells the property and moves into a new home, the spouse’s new primary residence may qualify for the homestead discount, which may not exceed the amount of the prior discount. If the spouse remarries, he/she loses the discount.
The amendment would obviously provide additional financial assistance to veterans’ widows, but detractors note that it would adversely affect funding for local services. According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, school tax revenues would fall by $400,000 and there would be a recurring loss of $1.6 million; non-school tax revenues would take an initial hit of $600,000 with a recurring loss of $2.4 million.
- Read the League of Women Voters guide to Amendment 6 here.
- Read the Tampa Bay Times breakdown of all Florida constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot here.
- To read about property taxes and applicable homestead exemptions in your locality, check out the property appraiser website for your county of residence: