Manufactured Housing Industry Educates Consumers on Potential Impact of Florida’s Amendment 2 — Taxation on Non-Homestead Properties
Concerns are mounting that a crowded ballot and two high-profile state campaigns may mean Florida’s Amendment 2 gets overlooked.
“I’m not hearing people talk about it as much as I would like,” said Jim Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association.
Why Does Amendment 2 Matter for Florida Manufactured Home Owners and Residents?
Amendment 2 provides a 10 percent cap on annual property tax increases for non-homestead properties.
Potential high tax increases, if Amendment 2 fails, would not only increase operating expenses for the community, but would impact homeowners directly in situations where property taxes are a pass-on expense.
“Manufactured home owners living in land-lease communities would be harmed the most,” Ayotte said. “Property taxes are usually a pass-on expense. The owner gets the tax bill, they’re responsible for the common areas and they bill the rest of the amount by the number of occupied lots. That means homeowners’ expenses stand to go up significantly.
“The homeowners and residents definitely would bear the brunt of this,” he said.
Details on Amendment 2
Florida’s Amendment 2 has been in place for a decade. It protects non-homestead properties from the possibility of a sudden spike on the property tax bill. A yes-vote on 2 would be a “status quo vote”. It keeps things the same. However, a no-vote would drive change that could cost homeowners and residents much more each year.
Amendment 2 requires approval of 60 percent of voters to pass. This is true for all amendments to the Florida State Constitution.
Ballot Summary on Amendment 2 from Florida TaxWatch
“Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permanently retain provisions currently in effect, which limit property tax assessment increases on specified non-homestead real property, except for school district taxes, to 10 percent each year. If approved, the amendment removes the scheduled repeal of such provisions in 2019 and shall take effect January 1, 2019.”
Florida TaxWatch recommends a “Yes Vote” on the amendment.
What Else is on Florida’s Nov. 6 Ballot?
There are a pair of heated races, one for governor and one for the U.S. Senate. Given that, ballot initiatives may be overlooked when races for public office garner most of the attention.
Also, two initiatives use similar language. As noted, Amendment 2 concerns non-homestead properties. Amendment 1 concerns homestead properties, roughly defined as a primary residence.
“There are 12 ballot initiatives on Nov. 6, and we’re really worried about ballot fatigue,” Ayotte said. “It’s very confusing, and the concern is that the majority will vote no on everything.”
Additionally, there is a limit to the number of constitutional amendments that can appear on the ballot. This leads to initiatives with little or nothing to do with each other in a single amendment. For example, Amendment 9 seeks to ban offshore drilling and vaping in an enclosed business.
“Like I said,” Ayotte stated. “It’s very confusing.”
More information on voting in Florida is available through Quick Facts on the Florida Division of Elections Page, where there are links to voter registration resources, County Supervisor contacts for local ballots and all 12 ballot initiatives in English and Spanish.