Floridians have successfully passed a permanent extension to an already existing yearly tax increase cap on properties that don’t have a homestead exemption.
Amendment 2 was passed by a margin of 66 percent-34 percent as of 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. The proposal needed but 60 percent voter approval to pass.
Voters approved over a decade ago the same cap that limited property assessment increases to 10 percent a year, but that is set to expire in 2019.
With the approval now of Amendment 2, voters made that extension permanent.
The measure was one of three to be placed on the ballot by state lawmakers. During the 2017 Legislative Session, the Legislature overwhelmingly backed the joint resolution providing for the permanent non-homestead tax cap extension. Just three legislators voted against the proposal.
Florida Realtors, the state’s largest professional association, funneled more than $11 million behind the measure in 2018. It was the sole financier of Amendment 2.
The group championed the proposal as one “for everybody.” Private-industry tax experts hailed the ballot item as something that would benefit the economy as a whole, from businesses to consumers to schools to renters — especially those seeking affordable housing.
Robert Weissert, executive vice president at nonprofit government watchdog Florida TaxWatch, said in June if voters approved Amendment 2, then the state would maintain an economically healthy status quo.
While careful not to pitch the proposal as a “tax cut,” Weissert said failure to pass the amendment could result in a $700 million tax increase.
Amendment 2 did see opposition from influential groups. Namely, the League of Women Voters of Florida encouraged voters to reject the measure, contending that “no tax sources or revenue should be specified, limited, exempted, or prohibited in the Constitution.”
In the end, the amendment “for everybody” prevailed.