Tallahassee, Fla. – House Bill 95 Homestead Property Tax Exemptions, designated “Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act” by Representative Shawn Harrison (R-Temple Terrace), passed favorably today by the House Finance and Tax Committee. This bill proposes to grant full homestead property tax exemptions to spouses of first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office made the following statement in support of this legislation, “On behalf of the law enforcement and detention deputies of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, I wish to thank Representative Shawn Harrison for sponsoring the Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act. This important legislation, if passed into law, will provide property tax relief for families of slain first responders killed in the line of duty. Representative Harrison’s legislation recognizes the lives and sacrifices of high-risk personnel whose lives are cut short in service to their community, and compassionately seeks to ensure their surviving families are able to remain in their homes.”
The Florida Police Benevolent Association Executive Director Matt Puckett stated, “The membership of the Florida Police Benevolent Association is thankful to Representative Shawn Harrison for his strong commitment to the men and women of public safety. We can never bring back the heroes we have lost, but we should always strive to help the suffering families after such a tragic event.”
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn supports this legislation stating, “When the funeral procession has ended and the condolences have waned, the surviving spouse is often left with an uncertain financial future. These families have already paid a heavy price and Representative Harrison is trying to make sure that their economic future is a little more secure. It is the least we can do.”
This bill would go into effect after House Joint Resolution 93 Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder, which proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution, has been placed on the November 2012 ballot and approved by the Florida Voters.
The next committee reference for HB 95 is the Community & Military Affairs Subcommittee.
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CONTACT: Jim Browne