PBA Objects to League of Women Voters’ Stance on 'Fallen Heroes' Tax Relief
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The Florida Police Benevolent Association voiced its displeasure over part of the League of Women Voters’ all-out opposition to the 11 constitutional amendments before voters in November.
The PBA said Friday that the League is wrong to oppose Amendment 9, which would provide full homestead property tax relief to surviving spouses of military and first responders killed in the line of duty.
"The League is looking at this amendment all wrong. Amendment 9 honors the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform,” John Rivera, president of the PBA, stated in a release.
“These grieving spouses and families have already given so much to their community. This amendment recognizes their loss and helps to make sure they have a place to call home.
“Ironically,” Rivera added, “the overwhelming majority of the survivors are women.”
On Thursday, the League of Women Voters officially announced its opposition to all 11 ballot items before voters.
League President Deirdre Macnab offered a blanket objection to the six items that were devised to put tax limits, exemptions and loopholes into the state Constitution.
"With the Constitution intentionally hard to change," Macnab stated in a release, "a better place for such tax provisions is regular statutory law, where changing conditions make modification easier. Further, our tax policy needs a level playing field. It's already riddled with loopholes and these amendments cut state revenues drastically."
The PBA noted that the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference placed the overall financial impact of Amendment 9 at less than $600,000.
"This amendment ensures a surviving spouse will not lose a home because of property taxes. They have already given our state a wife or husband, a father or mother, a leader ... What more should we take from them?"
Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 95 -- The “Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act” -- to put the item on the ballot during the 18th Annual Our Heroes Luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center in May.
The bill exempts from ad valorem taxation (school and nonschool) any homesteaded property owned by the surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the line of duty while employed by the state, or any political subdivision of the state, including authorities and special districts.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.