Would authorize the legislature to totally or partially exempt surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty from paying property taxes.

Ballot Summary
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature to provide by general law ad valorem homestead 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. The amendment authorizes the Legislature to totally exempt or partially exempt such surviving spouse's homestead property from ad valorem taxation. The amendment defines a first responder as a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic. This amendment shall take effect January 1, 2013.

Explanation
If enacted this amendment would authorize the legislature to totally or partially exempt surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty from paying property taxes.

It creates a new homestead exemption for surviving spouses of the military and first responders killed in the line of duty. Exemption can be granted for the full value of the home. Expected revenue loss to local governments is $0.6 million starting in 2013-14.

upporters assert that the measure will assist the families left behind when a veteran or first responder dies in service.

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