Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Friday, April 19, 2024

Ballot initiative round-up: Alachua County referendums pass, Florida amendments fail

Florida voters voted on various ballot initiatives

No. 1 Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 4 and Article XII, Section 42: Failed

Amendment 1 failed Tuesday. It would have allowed the Florida Legislature to stop the consideration of changes or improvements made to residential property that improves the property’s resistance to flood damage in determining the assessed value of such property for property taxation purposes. 

This wouldn’t have automatically stopped local governments from considering these changes or improvements. The Legislature would have to pass a bill that prohibits such consideration. This bill would have largely impacted Florida as it has 8,400 miles of coastline and a low-lying topography, making it especially vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels and flooding. 

No. 2 Constitutional Amendment Article II, Section 5 and Article XI, Sections 2 and 5: Failed

Florida voters voted against abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission Tuesday. These meetings served as a method of submitting proposed amendments or revisions to the State Constitution without any state legislative interference. The committee draws on citizen concerns from places like public forums to draft changes. The commission met every 20 years and is scheduled to convene in 2037.

The commission was formed initially as a bipartisan vessel, but it has come under fire for its lack of accountability and disruption of the democratic process. 

No. 3 Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 6 and Article XII: Failed

Amendment 3 failed to pass Tuesday, meaning the Legislature isn’t authorized to grant an additional homestead tax exemption for homestead property owned by classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active duty members of the U.S. armed forces and Florida National Guard members. This tax exemption would have been up to $50,000.

Wild Spaces Public Places, Road Repair, Fire Stations, and Affordable Housing One Percent Sales Tax: Passed

The passing of this referendum creates a 1% sales surtax for the next ten years starting on Jan. 1. Wild Spaces and Public Places is a program that funds public parks and land conservation. This tax surcharge would allow for the county to “acquire and improve lands for conservation, wildlife habitat, water quality, and recreation; operate and maintain parks and recreation facilities; repair roads and improve road safety; construct and renovate fire stations and other public facilities; acquire lands for affordable housing; fund economic development projects,” as seen on the ballot. 

City of Gainesville Charter Amendment Filling Vacancy in Office by Calling a Special Election: Passed

The City of Gainesville Charter Amendment passed Tuesday. This amends the city charter so that a vacancy in a city commission office will be filled by special election within 60 days and held soon after. The previous requirement required the special election to be held within 60 days. 

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Amending the County Charter to Provide for County Commissioner Elections in Single-Member Districts: Passed

This amendment changes how voters choose Alachua County commissioners by using a process called single-member district voting. Rather than an at-large election where all county voters choose all five commissioners, voters will now elect only one commissioner based on the district they live in. 

All of the commissioners voted to oppose this referendum in December. 

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Lucille Lannigan

Lucy is a senior journalism major and the metro editor for The Alligator. She has previously served as a news assistant and the East Gainesville reporter for the metro desk as well as the health and environment reporter on the university desk. When she’s not doing journalism you can find her painting or spending time outside.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.