All voters across the state will also vote on the proposed constitutional amendment regarding property tax exclusion.
The measure- the Homestead Exclusion Amendment- would change the state constitution to enable the state legislature to pass a law allowing school boards, municipalities and counties to exclude the entire assessed value of each primary residence in their jurisdictions from taxation if they chose to do so.
This could significantly reduce- and in some cases eliminate- residential property taxes in those jurisdictions. Local taxing bodies have been able to exclude up to 50 percent of the median assessed valuation of all properties in their jurisdictions since 1997.
Rep. David Maloney (R-130), the measure’s primary sponsor in the state Legislature, said, “While this is the current mechanism to provide residential property tax relief, it is inadequate as it caps the amount of relief that can be provided. … There is a need to fund the core functions of government – roads, schools, public safety – but I do not believe that a tax that would take a person’s home after working their whole life to pay for it is a ‘core’ function of government – in fact, it is immoral.”
Sen. Mario Scavello (R-40) stated, “We can all agree that any tax that would take a person’s home after working their entire life to pay for it is wrong and immoral. No individual should have to choose between paying for prescription medications, taking care of their health and paying for property taxes. People should be able to own their property and enactment of this constitutional amendment will protect and safeguard that constitutional right.”
Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50), one of the two legislators who voted against referring the amendment to the ballot, said:
“I know people are struggling with their property tax bills, and this is an important conversation to have, but all of the facts must be part of the conversation. People need to hear the whole story. This is a major policy shift. The only piece people are talking about seems to be that it may remove property taxes. But, this homestead exemption legislation is the first piece to raising the personal income tax, increasing the sales tax, or taxing things that are not currently taxed. It’s a bit disingenuous to omit that part of the conversation. We need to call it what it is. People are tired of being misled. They need all of the information.”