Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 7, 2018 10:44 a.m.
In this year’s General Election, Florida voters were asked to vote on 12 proposed amendments to the state constitution covering topics ranging from taxes to greyhound racing. On the state level, constitutional amendments require a 60 percent or higher affirmative vote to pass. Only one Amendment failed: Amendment 1, which would have raised the homestead property tax exemption by $25,000 for homes worth more than $100,000. That would exempt the value between $100,000 and $125,000 of a home that serves as the owner’s primary residence.
Republicans in the state Legislature supported this amendment because it would have lowered taxes for almost 60 percent of homesteaded properties. But groups around the state united in opposition, claiming that the amendment’s passage would cost counties and special districts more than $752M in the first year. Such a loss, they argued, would probably force local taxing authorities to raise property taxes across the board and force non-homesteaded properties to pay even higher taxes. Florida Tax Watch estimated that more than three-quarters of all Florida property owners would not benefit from passage of this amendment.
Preliminary results from the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections reveal that county voters approved all proposed Constitutional Amendments by at least a majority vote. The amendment receiving over 79 percent of the votes (the highest percentage of affirmative votes) was 12, which limited lobbying and abuse of office by public officials. The narrowest approval – 51 percent – was garnered by Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to certain categories of convicted felons who had served their sentences.
For a complete breakdown on all Nassau County votes, visit the Supervisor of Elections website.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.