Explainer: Amendments on ballot: What do they mean?

There are three amendments on the ballot, but what do they mean and how should you vote?

How you vote is up to you to decide, but here’s an explanation.

Amendment 1

There are three amendments on the ballot for the midterm election 2022. Here, Glenna Milberg breaks down Amendment 1.

The first of the three amendments have to do with property taxes on home improvements for storm season and flood protection.

For instance, you might put in hurricane windows, you may raise the house, or put up a seawall if you’re on the coast. All these things add value to your home, which is a good thing. But by making your home more valuable, your tax rate might go up.

Amendment 1 would allow lawmakers to exempt all of those flood resistance improvements from your tax assessment.

That sounds like a good thing for homeowners, but there are critics who think the wording of this is just too vague and would open the door for exempting questionable renovations.

√ So if you are up for allowing lawmakers to make that exemption for the flood-resistant improvements to your house then vote yes for amendment one.

√ If you think that the incentives are already there for homeowners to harden their homes and you’d like to keep yet another tax exemption out of the state constitution, then vote no.

Amendment 2

Glenna Milberg breaks down Amendment 2 on the midterm election ballot.

The second of three amendments on the ballot would get rid of the CRC, the Constitutional Revision Committee.

What is that? It’s the group of 37 citizens who meet every 20 years to propose amendments for the ballot, kind of like Amendment 2.

The legislature can put items on the ballot, like this one, but there are only two ways that citizens can do it. And the CRC is one of them. The other, the petition method, is time-consuming, expensive, and difficult. So abolishing the CRC would abolish one of the two ways citizens can get things on the state ballot.

The Constitutional Revision Committee only meets every 20 years. The last one was 2017 so the next would be in 2037

√ If you want to keep it, and keep that meeting date in 2037, then vote no on amendment two.

√ If you don’t think the CRC is necessary, vote to abolish it, by voting yes.

Glenna Milberg breaks down Amendment 3 on the midterm ballot. Will you vote yes or no?

Amendment 3

The third amendment generally asks you to allow for an extra homestead exemption for the state’s critical public service employees. That would include police officers, firefighters, school teachers, the National Guard, corrections officers and those who qualify. They would get an extra break on their property taxes.

At face value, it is certainly a way to help our neighbors who are critical public employees in an expensive part of the state, especially facing rising costs of living. But critics point out another side to the story.

First, it wouldn’t affect or help any of those workers who don’t own homes, like those who rent. It would do nothing to help those workers afford their first home. The analysts estimate that the extra exemption would cost local governments $86 million in the first year and $96 million in the next four years.

As written, all the state’s taxpayers would have to backfill the losses in Florida’s poorest counties, which is roughly almost half the state.

There are those who say the lawmakers who put this on the ballot should consider raising salaries for those critical public employees who teach our children and keep us safe, but that’s another story.

√ If you want to allow for the property tax break and help pay for it, then vote yes on Amendment 3.

√ If you want to keep things just as they are now, vote no.

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