Here are just some of the initiatives you’ll see on the ballot on November 6.

Florida

Amendment 1: Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption, would raise the portion of a home’s value that can be exempted from non-school property taxes. The Legislature voted to refer the exemption to the ballot in 2017, and the proposed changes would apply to the assessed value of a homestead property between $100,000 and $125,000, raising the maximum exemption to $75,000.

Amendment 2: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments on Non-Homestead Properties, would cement an existing cap on non-homestead property assessments. Such property tax assessment increases have been limited to 10 percent of the previous year’s assessed value since 2008. Florida REALTORS® and RASM support the passage of this amendment and urge members to get the word out on voting “yes” on Amendment 2.

Amendment 3: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida, this amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize Casino gambling by requiring casino gambling to be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.

Amendment 4: Voting Restoration Amendment, restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.

Amendment 5: Super-Majority Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees, prohibits the state legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of the State House and Senate in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims; Judges, creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to a government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from 70 to 75 years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of the term has been served by retirement age.

Amendment 7: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities, would pull together three proposals, providing college tuition for the survivors of first responders and military members killed on duty, requiring university trustees to agree by a two-thirds super-majority to raise college fees (not including tuition) and establishing the state college system in the Florida Constitution. Universities are in the state Constitution, but state colleges (also known as community colleges) are not.

Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces, prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high-water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor-generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.

Amendment 13: Ends Dog Racing, phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

 

Sarasota County & City of Sarasota

Bond Referendum: Sarasota County General Obligation Bonds for Legacy Trail Extension with Enhanced Safety and Connections. To acquire and improve the Legacy Trail Extension railroad corridor as a safe trail for walking, running, and cycling with enhanced connectivity from North Port through Venice to downtown Sarasota, with additional improvements including safe crossings, overpasses, amenities, and increased accessibility. This is a RASM supported amendment.

Single-Member County Commission Districts: Sarasota County Charter Amendment to Change County Commission Elections to Single-Member Districts. Currently, Sarasota County voters can vote for all 5 County Commission seats from the Airport to North Port. This amendment would restrict voters to voting only for the Commission seat where they live once every four years. RASM has taken a position in opposition to this amendment, as it would limit the amount of say Sarasota County voters would have in determining the County Commission.

City of Sarasota Charter Amendment: Changes City Commission elections from March and May in odd-numbered years to August and November in even-numbered years to coincide with federal, state and county elections. No candidate shall be elected in the August election. The August election shall occur only when required by the number of qualifying candidates. Otherwise, the November election shall be the only election. Changes Commission appointment of Mayor and Vice Mayor to coincide with election dates. This is a RASM supported amendment, which will save Sarasota City Taxpayers over $100,000 per election cycle.