Teachers, police and nurses should be able to buy a home in the communities they serve. Amendment 3’s new property tax break can help make that happen.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Constitutional amendments can be confusing, but Amendment 3, which will appear on the November ballot, is straightforward and worthwhile.
Among the three amendments Florida voters will consider in November, one is a tax benefit for Florida’s hometown heroes, which includes teachers, law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel, active duty members of the military and Florida National Guard, child welfare service employees and others.
Florida Realtors® strongly supports Amendment 3.
“For decades, Florida Realtors and its more than 225,000 members have been vocal advocates for affordable housing,” says Christina Pappas, president of Florida Realtors. “With affordability climbing further out of reach in the state, it’s become extremely challenging for the men and women who serve our communities to live in the areas where they serve. Amendment 3 will help by providing much-needed property tax relief to hometown heroes in our state.”
Amendment 3 would provide hometown heroes an additional $50,000 homestead property exemption on non-school levies if one of the included hometown heroes owns the property.
If passed by voters, the additional tax break would complement the newly created Hometown Heroes Housing Program (HHHP) funded by the Florida Legislature this year, an issue also strongly backed by Florida Realtors. The $100 million in funding under HHHP offers zero-interest loans to help hometown heroes with down payments and closing costs.
According to data compiled by Florida Realtors, the median sale price of a Florida home was just under $374,000 at the end of last year – 21% higher than one year earlier, and 47% higher in just three years. Many targeted hometown hero occupations don’t pay salaries high enough to afford such a home.
“Amendment 3 and the HHHP make a compelling statement to the men and women who serve our state, our communities and our country that we support them,” adds Pappas. “We want to make sure they have a chance of achieving the American dream of homeownership.”
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