Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 - Benefits of Homestead Property Tax Discount for Surviving Spouses of Veterans

Article Summary

  1. Homestead Property Tax Discount for Surviving Spouses of Deceased Veterans Passes, in a previous article, we discussed the proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment 6, which would transfer the property tax discount by combat-disabled veterans, age 65, to surviving spouses of veterans until the spouse remarries or sells the property.
  2. The election ballot summary states: Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 ‘Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with combat-related disabilities carries over to such disabled veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells, or otherwise disposes of the property.
  3. In elections over the past decade, Florida lawmakers have repeatedly proposed constitutional amendments with the intent and ability to honor combat-wounded military veterans and disabled first responders, and Floridian supporters have voted favorably for these initiatives, including 2010: An additional homestead tax exemption for members of the military, military reserves, Coast Guard or its reserves, and Florida National Guard who were deployed in the previous year on active duty outside the continental U.S., Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations designated by the Legislature.
  4. 2012: This Florida amendment extended property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a military veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty or to the surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the line of duty.
  5. 2016: This Florida amendment authorized a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from property taxes on the homesteaded property.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 - Homestead Property Tax Discount for Surviving Spouses of Deceased Veterans Passes

In a previous article, we discussed the proposal of Florida Constitutional Amendment 6, which would transfer the property tax discount by combat-disabled veterans, age 65, to surviving spouses until the spouse remarries or sells the property. On November 3rd, 2020, Florida Constitutional Amendment 5 was overwhelmingly approved with a very high percentage of voter approval, approximately 90% of Floridians voted in favor of the change, far more than the sixty-percent voter approval needed to pass. In fact, Amendment 6 received the largest share of favorable votes among the six initiatives on the ballot in Florida.

The Ballot Summary States:

Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 ‘Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent, combat-related disabilities carries over to such spouses of veterans who hold legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells, or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount for spouses may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.”

In the past decade, Florida lawmakers have repeatedly proposed constitutional amendments with the intent to honor combat-wounded military veterans and disabled first responders, and Floridians have voted favorably for these initiatives, including:

  • 2010: An additional homestead exemption for members of the military, military reserves, Coast Guard or its reserves, and Florida National Guard who were deployed in the previous year on active duty outside the continental U.S., Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations designated by the Legislature.
  • 2012: This amendment expanded the homestead exemption to veterans who became disabled as a result of a combat injury and who were not Florida residents when they entered the military.
  • 2012: This amendment extended property-tax relief to the surviving spouse of a military veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty or to the surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the line of duty. 
  • 2016: This amendment authorized a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from property taxes on the homesteaded property.
  • 2018: This amendment grants mandatory payment of death benefits and waives certain educational expenses to qualifying survivors of certain first responders and military members killed in action.

Before Amendment 6 passed, Florida law discounted the property taxes of combat-disabled veterans proportionate to their degree of disability. That property tax discount ended when the veteran died. By extending the benefit to the veteran’s spouse upon their death, Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 was introduced to help some military families avoid making homeownership decisions based on an increase in anticipated costs and a decrease of revenue after the veteran’s death. This could also avoid making the impact of the death even harder on their spouse.

If you have further questions about Florida Constitutional Amendment 6 or how it will benefit you, please contact my office. I am always ready to help you navigate any property tax-related issues.

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