Lawsuits hit Florida, Amendment 3 hearing this week

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July 20, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: The Florida AFL-CIO and Jacksonville resident Brian K. Doyle filed a lawsuit challenging proposed Amendment 3. Both argue that the the title and summary of the amendment are flawed. Specifically they said that the text does not mention the purchase date. The proposal calls for limiting the maximum annual increase in the assessed values of nonhomestead property to 5%. Additionally, it calls for providing a $25,000 exemption for people who have not owned a principal property in the previous 8 years.[1] The proposal would give people who haven't owned a home for at least 8 years an addition, temporary homestead exemption. The exemption would only apply to residences purchases on or after January 1, 2010.[2]

Additionally, plaintiffs argue that the title and the summary conflict because the title states that the exemption applies to "new homestead owners," while the summary states that it applies to "a first-time homestead." The provision, however, allows for previous homeowners to qualify.[2]

In response to the filed lawsuit, the state said the title and summary accurately describe the proposal and that the purchase date is not required by law to be included in the ballot text. In regards to the text conflict between the title and the summary, state officials said that it is clear, according to the text, who can qualify for the tax break.[2]

A hearing is scheduled for July 22 and will be heard by a Tallahassee judge.

This marks the fourth lawsuit in the state of Florida against certified ballot measures.

See also

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