With 86 percent of Florida precincts reporting, both constitutional Amendment 3, Tax Exemptions for Disabled First Responders, and Amendment 5, Property Tax Exemptions for Senior Citizens, have passed by wide margins.
Amendments 3 and 5 are legislative initiatives regarding property tax exemptions for certain groups. Amendment 3, which passed with 84 percent of the vote, proposed to enable the Legislature to enact a tax exemption for first responders who are totally and permanently disabled from injuries sustained in the line of duty, while Amendment 5, which passed with 78 percent, looks at the property tax exemption currently in place for low-income seniors; it would allow the Legislature to give county/city governments the power to grant that exemption even if their property value rises over the $250,000 limit.
Both of these amendments will have an impact on the amount of property taxes coming in for schools, roads and other government functions. Opponents called them a slippery slope toward granting the Legislature powers reserved to the electorate, as well as pointing out that they add still more complexity to an already inconsistent and complicated tax system. However, the majority of Floridians disagreed and voted yes on both.