Amendment 11 - Additional homestead exemption; low-income seniors who maintain long-term residency on property; equal to assessed value

Published On: Oct 06 2012 10:11:11 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 06 2012 10:39:26 PM EDT

Ballot Summary:
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law and subject to conditions set forth in the general law, to allow counties and municipalities to grant an additional homestead tax exemption equal to the assessed value of homestead property if the property has a just value less than $250,000 to an owner who has maintained permanent residency on the property for not less than 25 years, who has attained age 65, and who has a low household income as defined by general law.

Explanation:
This amendment would authorize the Legislature to let counties and municipalities grant an additional homestead tax exemption for low-income seniors. The exemption would be equal to the assessed value of a homestead property, if: its market value is less than $250,000; the owner has maintained permanent residence there for at least 25 years; the owner is at least 65; and the owner has a low household income under law.

Supporters say the amendment provide assistance to elderly residents on fixed incomes. They further argue that the property tax discount can help elderly residents to pay for medical bills and stay in their own homes as they age.

Opponents argue the measure contributes to the erosion of the tax base necessary for schools and local governments to function.