Governor Scott will be performing a ceremonial bill signing of HB 95, the implementing bill of HJR 93, which appears on the November ballot as Amendment 9. It is known as the Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act. If Amendment 9 is passed by the voters with 60% approval or greater, HB 95 goes into effect.
The signing ceremony will be today at 11 am. It will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, during the Sykes Heroes Luncheon VIP reception. Expected attendees are the surviving spouses of Tampa Police Officers Kocab, Curtis, Roberts and of St. Petersburg Police Officer Yaslowitz.
Representative Shawn Harrison and Senator Jim Noman sponsored this legislation.
Amendment 9 will grant full homestead property tax exemption to the surviving spouses of the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price in protecting Florida’s residents. This amendment is for every person who puts on a badge or serves our nation. These Heroes deserve the comfort of knowing that if the worst happens, their families will be looked after.
By relieving their homestead property tax burden, surviving spouses may continue to raise their families in the same home without the worry of losing it due to property taxes. All surviving spouses that fulfill the Florida residency requirements may qualify, although the tax relief is for 2013 forward. The property tax exemption will exist in the current home or may be transferred to a new home, unless the surviving spouse remarries.
This tax relief for the families left behind will appear on the ballot in November as Amendment 9. The Legislature passed it unanimously and it has been signed by the Governor. Now the voters need to approve it with 60% or more.
Florida led the nation last year in law enforcement deaths, a grim statistic of 14 fathers, mothers, husbands and wives not coming home. Four firefighters lost their lives and a number of Florida’s sons and daughters fought for our freedom in the military. All of Florida’s voters will have a chance to support the families of Heroes who paid the ultimate price to keep us safe.
The surviving spouse, of Florida’s military or first responders killed in the line of duty, will be relieved of the burden of taxes on their homesteads if Amendment 9 passes.