Publicado el 10-19-2012
Vote NO for
Amendments 2, 9, and 11
of the Florida Constitution
The Florida Constitution is a precious document. It enshrines the basic political and moral principles under which our State is governed. For that reason it is important that it be concise and effective. It is not the place for laws, no matter how noble they may be.
Unfortunately, there is a growing trend to change this; this election year is no different. On the ballot for November 6 voters are asked to vote on a number of amendments that perhaps would make sense as laws but that do not make sense as part of the body of fundamental political principles that enshrine our Constitution.
Amendment 2 asks Floridians to expand the availability for Homestead Property Tax exemption to veterans disabled due to combat injury while Amendment 9 asks for a partial or total “homestead exemption” for surviving spouses of military veterans or First Responders who died from service-connected causes. First Responders include, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or paramedics. We all honor our veterans who have honorably served our country or who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms, but we agree with the League of Women Voters that this is not appropriate. Someone in the State of Florida has to pay property taxes in benefit of our general welfare which includes the funding of important services such as public education, roads, public hospitals, social services and first responders. But what happens to Florida if veterans, surviving spouses of veterans, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or paramedics receive these additional exemptions? Who in the State is paying for these necessary taxes? It all falls, once again, upon the shoulders of the overburdened middle class, which needs more protection, not less. If these ideas merit further discussion, it behooves the Legislature to address these issues. The same can be said for Amendment 11.
Amendment 11 asks that low-income seniors who maintain long-term residency on property receive an additional homestead exemption equal to assessed value. A senior is someone defined as a person who is 65 years old. Again, who is expected to pay for property taxes in Florida? If we do not have sufficient funds stemming from property taxes there may be a movement toward a state income tax to cover the necessary expenses.
DIARIO LAS AMERICAS recommends voting NO for Amendments 2, 9, and 11, and, most important, go out and vote.