There are six proposed amendments to Florida’s constitution that will be on the ballot this November. I need a bit of help figuring out the legalese:
*Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to delete provisions authorizing the Legislature to regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition, and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship. *
I think this is saying that there are currently laws on the books that prohibit illegal aliens from owning, selling, or inheriting property, and that this amendment would remove those laws.
*This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized. *
I got this one…it’s to ban gay marriage. I will be voting no.
*Authorizes the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of changes or improvements to residential real property which increase resistance to wind damage and installation of renewable energy source devices as factors in assessing the property’s value for ad valorem taxation purposes. Effective upon adoption, repeals the existing renewable energy source device exemption no longer in effect. *
I think this one is saying if you make improvements to your home to make it greener or protect against wind damage, those improvements cannot be factored into your property value with regards to property taxes.
*Requires Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for real property encumbered by perpetual conservation easements or other perpetual conservation protections, defined by general law. Requires Legislature to provide for classification and assessment of land used for conservation purposes, and not perpetually encumbered, solely on the basis of character or use. Subjects assessment benefit to conditions, limitations, and reasonable definitions established by general law. Applies to property taxes beginning in 2010. *
I think this one says if you cannot use part of your property because it’s been designated a wetland or what have you, you get a tax break.
*Provides for assessment based upon use of land used predominantly for commercial fishing purposes; land used for vessel launches into waters that are navigable and accessible to the public; marinas and drystacks that are open to the public; and water-dependent marine manufacturing facilities, commercial fishing facilities, and marine vessel construction and repair facilities and their support activities, subject to conditions, limitations, and reasonable definitions specified by general law. *
They’ve lost me on this one.
*Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to require that the Legislature authorize counties to levy a local option sales tax to supplement community college funding; requiring voter approval to levy the tax; providing that approved taxes will sunset after 5 years and may be reauthorized by the voters. *
I think this one says county and city governments, with voter approval, have to pass a sales tax to fund community colleges.