Breaking down the amendments; Here's what they actually mean

Florida voters will have plenty to consider beyond the presidential race including five amendments to our state constitution. Here is an amendment explainer courtesy of 10News political reporter Mark Rivera.
 

Amendment 1

"Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice This amendment establishes a right under Florida's constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.

The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government."

WHAT IT MEANS:

  • A YES on Amendment 1 means if you go solar, you could end up paying more.
  • A NO on Amendment 1 means you still have your right to use solar power and it will probably cost less to do it.

 

 

KNOW YOUR VOTE: AMENDMENT 1

 

Amendment 2

"Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients' medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any nonmedical use, possession or production of marijuana.

Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory costs and enforcement activities associated with the production, sale, use and possession of medical marijuana. Fees may offset some of the regulatory costs. Sales tax will likely apply to most purchases, resulting in a substantial increase in state and local government revenues that cannot be determined precisely. The impact on property tax revenues cannot be determined."

WHAT IT MEANS:

  • A YES vote will expand existing medical marijuana laws and likely lead to an increase in medical marijuana dispensaries statewide.
  • A NO vote opposes expanding legalized medical marijuana and keeps the current program as it is.


KNOW YOUR VOTE: AMENDMENT 2

 

Amendment 3

"Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017."

WHAT IT MEANS: 

  • A YES vote means permanently disabled first responders injured on duty will get a 100% break on their property taxes.
  • A NO vote will deny those tax breaks to first responders.

KNOW YOUR VOTE: AMENDMENT 3

 

Amendment 5

"Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017."

WHAT IT MEANS: 

  • A YES vote means seniors with an income of $20,000 or less could benefit --- but not automatically.
  • A NO vote keeps tax breaks for low income seniors as they are.

KNOW YOUR VOTE: Amendment 5
 

 

(© 2016 WTSP)


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