July 21, 2017
‘Tax Exemption for Disabled First Responders’
By James D. York, P.A.
A house bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland, during the recently-concluded Florida legislature sessions will implement a new tax exemption for first responders who are permanently disabled in the line of duty. The 100 percent homestead tax exemption was approved by 84% of voters as a Constitutional amendment in the November 2016 election.
Regarding supporter arguments for the amendment, the James Madison Institute said, “Those supporting this amendment would make the case that it is imperative to recognize the sacrifice our first responders give in the line of duty protecting our liberties and way of life. The State of Florida and its citizens are, by the very nature of the services performed by first responders, forever in debt for the sacrifice so many men and women make. One mechanism that our state can collectively express our appreciation is through the passage of Amendment 3, granting property tax relief.”
Before the election, this tax break was only available to surviving spouses of military or emergency personnel who were killed while on duty. HB 455 also provides the property tax exemption to surviving spouses of disabled first responders, and will save property owners an estimated $4.5 million.
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