Marisa J. Powers, Esq.,
Land Use, Local Government Law and Litigation

Electors may vote whether to approve exemptions for teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, child welfare professionals and active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces and members of the Florida National Guard.

During the 2022 Florida Legislative Session, Legislatures passed both House Bill (HB) 1563 and House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1 relating to an additional homestead property tax exemption for Classroom Teachers, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, Child Welfare Professionals, and Active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces, or Florida National Guard.

HJR 1 proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution to authorize the Legislature to provide a new homestead tax exemption for the above-referenced people. HB 1563 provides that any of the above-referenced people who hold legal or beneficial title to equity in real property and who make such property their, or their dependents’, permanent residence is entitled to an exemption of up to $50,000 of the property’s value between $100,000 and $150,000, for all levies other than school district levies.

To counter any strain on fiscally constrained counties, HB 1563 directs the Legislature to appropriate money to such counties to offset reductions in ad valorem tax revenue resulting from the homestead exemption.

Supporters of HJR 1 and HB 1563 believe that the proposal directs tax relief to first responders and other Floridians who perform jobs that citizens rely on daily. Those who oppose HJR 1 and HB 1563 have expressed concerns that the proposal would shift more of the tax burden to renters and businesses.
If HB 1563 is signed into law, the proposed constitutional amendment will be placed on the ballot in the next general election in November 2022. If approved by the electors the amendment and bill will take effect on January 1, 2023.

For questions regarding this bill, contact land use and local government attorney Marisa Powers at mpowers@blalockwalters.com or 941.748.0100.

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