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As early voting begins today, Pinellas County encourages citizens to get educated about the local impacts of constitutional amendments appearing on the Florida ballot, especially Amendments 1 and 2.
Both amendments would have a significant impact on local property taxes and on government funds locally and around the state.
To help citizens get educated before the vote, the county has launched a website, www.pinellascounty.org/amendment1, which explains how these proposals would affect property owners and government services. The Pinellas County Property Appraiser also has an online tool which allows citizens to determine if they qualify for the third homestead exemption proposed under Amendment 1: www.3hxestimator.org. Educational videos and graphics are available on Pinellas County’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Florida Amendment 1 would add a third homestead exemption for a limited portion of properties on assessed value from $100K-$125K. Lower assessed homes, renters and businesses would not qualify. If passed, Amendment 1 is projected to reduce local government funds countywide by $42.5 million annually starting in fiscal year 2020.
Florida Amendment 2 would make permanent the current 10 percent cap on assessed value for non-homestead properties, such as businesses and rental properties. That cap is set to expire at the end of the year if voters do not choose to extend it.
Both proposals require 60 percent voter approval statewide to pass.
Information on voter registration, early voting locations and sample ballots are available at the Supervisor of Elections website: www.votepinellas.com.