This year’s ballot in Florida has been criticized for being too long and wordy to the point where people did not even understand what they were voting for. Among the names of the different candidates running for various national, statewide and local positions were also eleven different amendment proposals for the Florida Constitution. While it is not clear what confused whom on the ballot, it is likely that the different amendment proposals tripped a few people up. The majority of these amendments dealt with tax exemptions and or penalties, and we all know that logistically these things can be a little tricky for the average American to understand.
Here is a simple breakdown of the different amendments on this year’s Florida ballot
Amendment 1: No Mandatory Health Coverage. This prevents penalties for not purchasing health care coverage in order to comply with federal health care reforms. The amendment stated that the government will be barred from forcing citizens to purchase health insurance.
- Results: No: 51.5%, Yes: 48.5%
Amendment 2: Veteran Tax Relief. This allows for property tax discounts for disabled veterans.
- Results: Yes. 63.3%, No 36.7%
Amendment 3: State Revenue Limit. This replaces existing revenue limits with a new limitation based on inflation and population changes. The government currently spends money based on the income of residents. The amendment proposes a cap on state spending based on population and cost of living. The result would be a tax cut, where excess funds would go to an emergency fund.
- Results: No: 57.6%, Yes: 42.4%
Amendment 4: Property Tax Limit. This amends commercial and non-homestead property taxes. Proponents of the amendment said that the amendment would result in the creation of some 19,483 jobs over a period of ten years, as well as an increased GDP of $1.1 billion. Opponents claimed that it would adversely affect the budgets of local governments and would cost the city and county over $1 billion in the next four years.
- Results: No: 56.8%, Yes: 43.2%
Amendment 5: Gives the legislature increased control over the judicial branch. It required Supreme Court judges be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Florida House of Representatives would have the ability to review all files of the Commission on Judicial Titles, giving the Legislature more authority over legal matters.
- Results: No: 63.0%, Yes: 37.0%
Amendment 6: Abortion Funds. This proposes banning public funding for abortions or for health coverage that includes the procedure.
- Results: No: 55.1%, Yes: 44.9%
Amendment 7: This was taken off the ballot after it was struck down by the state Circuit Court. It would have granted public funding to a wide array of religious programs and institutions.
Amendment 8: Religious School Funding. This would have repealed a ban of public dollars for private religious schools and institutions.
- Results: No: 55.5%, Yes: 44.5%
Amendment 9: Veteran Spouse Tax Relief. This would authorize the legislature to totally or partially exempt surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty from paying property taxes.
- Results: Yes: 61.7%, No: 38.3%
Amendment 10: Property Tax Exemption. This would provide an exemption from ad valorem taxes levied by local governments on tangible personal property that is greater than $25,000 but less than %50,000.
- Results: No: 54.5%, Yes: 45.5%
Amendment 11: Senior Tax Relief. This would authorize counties and municipalities to offer additional tax exemptions on homes of low-income seniors.
- Results: Yes: 61.3%, No: 38.7%
Amendment 12: State University Student Representative. This would revise the selection process for a student member of the Board of Governors of State University System.
- Results: No: 58.5%, Yes: 41.5%