Florida Amendment 5: Extend “Save Our Homes” Portability Period Amendment
Florida currently gives a property tax break to permanent state residents. Called the homestead, or “Save Our Homes” provision, this exempts $25,000 of the value of a primary residence from property taxes. So, if a primary residence in Florida has an assessed value of $225,000, the owner would pay property taxes on just $200,000. The law also allows someone, until the end of the second year after selling a permanent residence, to transfer their homestead tax benefit to a new residence. Amendment 5 would increase this provision to the end of the third year.
According to the Florida Revenue Estimating Conference, Amendment 5 would reduce local property taxes by $1.8 million beginning in the fiscal year 2021-22 and would eventually result in a $10.2 million reduction annually fiscal year 2025-26.
Proponents Arguments For
Supporters argue that the Florida legislature and state’s voters have created and affirmed the homestead property tax benefit for permanent residents. But if someone sells their home near the end of a year—say in November of 2021—they would only have until December 31, 2022, to transfer their homestead benefit. They argue that amendment 5 would ensure that everyone has at least two full years to transfer their homestead benefit as the original “Save Our Homes” amendment intended.
Opponents Arguments Against
There is no official opposition to Amendment 5 or any published arguments against it.
Homestead property tax exemptions are not a simple or fair way to reduce property tax burdens.
But, Florida’s Amendment 5 is aimed at fixing a technical error in the intended timing of the portability of the benefit. So it neither creates nor appreciably expands this tax policy decision. Amendment 5 is consistent with the clear intent of the original change to property taxes.
Voters’ Guide to Florida’s Other 2020 Ballot Initiatives