Know Your Amendments, Florida
It is important to understand the language as well as the intent of each of the 11 amendments on the Florida ballot. You should note that there is NO Amendment 7 on the Florida ballot. Each of the Amendments was placed on the ballot by the State of Florida Legislature, and each must be approved by 60 percent of the votes cast to be adopted.
Amendment 1 (HEALTH CARE SERVICES) Proposes to preserve the freedom of Florida residents to provide for their own health care by: 1) ensuring that any person, employer, or health care provider is not compelled to participate in any health care system; 2) authorizing a person or employer to pay directly, without using a third party, such as an insurer or employer, for health care services without incurring penalties or fines; and 3) authorizing a health care provider to accept direct payment for health care services without incurring penalties or fines.
Amendment 2 (VETERANS DISABLED DUE TO COMBAT INJURY; HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX DISCOUNT) Proposes to expand the availability of the property tax discount on the homesteads of veterans who became disabled as the result of a combat injury to include those who were not Florida residents when they entered the military. The statewide impact would be reductions in school tax revenues of $1.1 million in fiscal year 2013-14, $2.3 million in fiscal year 2014-15, and $3.6 million in fiscal year 2015-16, and reductions in local government non-school tax revenues of $1.3 million in fiscal year 2013-14, $2.6 million in fiscal year 2014-15, and $4.0 million in fiscal year 2015-16, assuming current millage rates.
Amendment 3 (STATE GOVERNMENT REVENUE LIMITATION) Proposes to replace existing state government revenue limits based on personal income growth with new limits based on inflations and population changes. Increases must be approved by a supermajority in each house of the Legislature or be submitted to the voters.
Amendment 4 (PROPERTY TAX LIMITATIONS; PROPERTY VALUE DECLINE; REDUCTION FOR NON-HOMESTEAD ASSESSMENT INCREASES; DELAY OF SCHEDULED REPEAL) Proposes three changes: 1) Non-homestead assessment limitation would will have a negative impact on non-school property taxes estimated to be $118.1 million in FY 2013-14, growing to $406.5 million by FY 2015; 2) Prohibition of increases in assessed value where market value has declined would have a negative impact on non-school property taxes estimated to be $10.3 million in FY 2013-14 and $32.5 million recurring, and a negative impact on school property taxes is estimated to be $6.2 million in FY 2013-14 and $17.7 million recurring; and 3) Additional homestead exemption for “First-Time” homesteaders would have a negative impact on non-school property taxes estimated to be $38.1 million in FY 2013-14, with a recurring negative impact of $159.3 million.
Amendment 5 (STATE COURTS) Addresses three issues: Permits the Legislature to more easily repeal rules adopted by the Supreme Court and other judicial organizations, provides for confirmation by the Florida Senate of appointed Supreme Court justices, and changes practices for the discipline of judges for misconduct.
Amendment 6 (PROHIBITION ON PUBLIC FUNDING OF ABORTIONS; CONSTRUCTION OF ABORTION RIGHTS) Proposes that public funds may not be expended for any abortion or health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion, but does not apply to cases where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, physical illness that would place her in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, or a case of rape or incest. This proposed amendment provides that the State Constitution may not be interpreted to create broader rights to an abortion than those contained in the United States Constitution.
Amendment 8 (RELIGIOUS FREEDOM) Proposes that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deletes the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.
Amendment 9 (HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR SURVIVING SPOUSE OF MILITARY VETERAN OR FIRST RESPONDER) Proposes to expand ad valorem homestead property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a military veteran who died from service–connected causes while on active duty, or a first responder (law enforcement, correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or a paramedic) who died in the line of duty. The Amendment authorizes the Legislature to totally exempt or partially exempt such surviving spouse’s homestead property from ad valorem taxes.
Amendment 10 (TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION) Proposes to provide an exemption from ad valorem taxes imposed and collected by counties, municipalities, school districts, and other local governments on tangible personal property (furniture, equipment and other property EXCEPT real estate) if the assessed value is greater than $25,000 but less than $50,000. Also authorizes a county or municipality to provide tangible personal property tax exemptions by ordinance. This is in addition to other statewide tangible personal property tax exemptions provided by the Florida Constitution and this Amendment.
Amendment 11 (ADDITIONAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION; LOW-INCOME SENIORS WHO MAINTAIN LONG-TERM RESIDENCY ON PROPERTY; EQUAL TO ASSESSED VALUE) Would allow counties and municipalities to grant a property tax exemption for low-income home owners age 65 and older on their primary residence if they have lived in the home for at least 25 years and if the home has a market value of less than $250,000.
Amendment 12 (APPOINTMENT OF STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT TO BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM) Proposes to replace the President of the Florida Student Association with the chair of the council of state university student body presidents.