Amendment Four Recap

On August 30th, 2016 Florida participated in primary elections and voted on constitutional amendment  four. Now, you may ask yourself- what about amendments one, two, and three? Those will be on the ballot during the November 8th general election, along with amendment number five.

You may or may not have voted in this primary election – but we thought we would give you a quick rundown on what amendment No.4 is and how its passage will impact Florida.

Let’s start by stating that amendment No. 4 was a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, meaning that the state legislature voted to put it on the ballot. In order for an amendment to pass in Florida, it must get 60% approval from voters. Amendment four received nearly 2 million votes for and just under ¾ of a million votes against – passing with a 72.6% approval.

So what exactly got passed? A good deal of information can be found in the ballot title itself: “Solar Devices or Renewable Energy Source Devices; Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment.” Amendment 4 extends an exemption from property tax valuation already available for solar energy devices on residential properties. This means that property owners who install solar equipment will not pay higher property taxes as a result, even though the installation would raise the property value. The exemption will now be available for business and commercial properties, starting in 2018 through 2037.

While it is somewhat unusual for an amendment to appear on the primary ballot, the likely reason is that amendment 1, which will be voted on during the general election, also deals with solar power and separating the two could help to reduce confusion between them.

Read the full text of the amendment here.

 

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