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Proposed constitutional amendment could exempt more low-income seniors from property taxes

Rep. David Borrero, R-Sweetwater, made the case for House Joint Resolution 159 on Tuesday.
The Florida Channel
From video
Rep. David Borrero, R-Sweetwater, made the case for House Joint Resolution 159 on Tuesday.

More low-income seniors would be exempt from county or city taxes under a proposed constitutional amendment that could appear on the 2024 ballot.

The initiative — House Joint Resolution 159 — got unanimous support from the Florida House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.

Since Amendment 11 passed in 2012, cities and counties have had the option to exempt certain seniors from property taxes if they have lived in their home for 25 years.

That's if they make less than $35,167 a year and the home is valued at no more than $250,000. The income eligibility is adjusted annually, but the home value is set.

Twenty-eight of Florida's 67 counties -- including Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Lake -- grant the exemption. Sixty-seven municipalities also offer the exemption, according to a Senate analysis.

In Orange County, 501 low-income seniors are taking advantage of that exemption, according to the Property Appraiser's Office.

Rep. David Borrero, R-Sweetwater, introduced the resolution Tuesday. He says the new amendment will raise the home-value threshold to $300,000.

"What I love about this is that this is addressing the housing crisis without having to spend a single penny of taxpayer funds," Borrero said. "It's putting more money in the pockets of low-income seniors and helping them to keep their homes."

If cleared by the Legislature, the amendment will need 60% approval from Florida voters.

Updated: February 15, 2023 at 8:53 AM EST
This article has been updated to include the number of low-income seniors using the Limited Income Senior Plus Exemption in Orange County.
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