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Voters to decide on raising Florida Homestead Exemption

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. A potential property-tax break that is a priority of Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is headed to voters.

The House voted 83-35 on Tuesday to approve a proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 7105) that would expand the homestead exemption by $25,000 if approved by voters in November 2018.

“If passed by the voters, this additional exemption will be one of, if not the largest, tax cut in the history of Florida at $645 million,” Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, said in a prepared statement.

Currently, homeowners receive a tax exemption on the first $25,000 in value of their properties. They pay taxes on the value between $25,000 and $50,000 and then receive an additional exemption on the portion from $50,000 to $75,000.

Voters will be asked to apply an additional non-school exemption to the portion of values between $100,000 and $125,000.

Opponents of the proposal have raised concerns that it would hurt low-income people, renters and businesses and would force local governments to decide between cutting services and raising taxes.

If approved, homeowners could save more than $200 a year on their taxes, depending on local tax rates, while local government revenue would be cut by about $645 million a year.

The measure also would direct the legislature to offset revenue losses for “fiscally constrained” counties in rural areas. The Senate voted 28-10 on Monday to approve the proposal.

Information from The News Service of Florida was used in this report.