2020 Proposed Amendments Affecting Property Taxes in Florida

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West Palm Beach, FL - This year, the general election will be held on November 3, 2020 and there will be six proposed amendments on the ballot. To be added to the state constitution, voters must approve each amendment with a majority of 60% of the vote. Below is a summary of Amendments 5 and 6, both are related to property taxes.  

Amendment 5 – Limitation on Homestead Assessments

Language: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective date January 1, 2021, to increase, from two years to three years, the period of time during which accrued ‘Save Our Homes’ benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

The ‘Save Our Homes’ (SOH) benefit caps taxable assessment increases on homesteaded property at 3% a year, and it allows sellers to take or “port” their current savings with them when buying a new Florida property, providing they do so within the designated time frame and meet other requirements.

Under the “portability” component of the homestead exemption, a homeowner can transfer up to $500,000 of the accrued benefit from their former primary residence to their new home. To transfer the SOH benefit, homeowners had to claim that exemption within two years - the law sets the timeline based on the tax roll year. Amendment 5 would extend the time frame from two tax years to three tax years for property owners to transfer or “port” all or part of their homestead assessment difference to a new homestead anywhere in Florida.

For Palm Beach County, Amendment 5 could potentially apply to any of the 330,000 current property owners with homestead exemptions.

Amendment 6 - Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities

Language: Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran's surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.

If passed, Amendment 6 would transfer a deceased veteran’s combat related property tax discount to their surviving spouse. The discount would remain in effect until the spouse remarries, dies or sells or disposes of the property. As always, the Property Appraiser’s position is to adhere to the law concerning the outcome of any constitutional amendment. If Amendments 5 and 6 receive approval from the voters, we will make any necessary changes to our processes to comply with the new laws.

If you have any questions regarding Amendments 5 and 6, please call our office (Exemption Services Department) at 561.355.2866.