Last week, state Rep. Marie Woodson, D-Hollywood, filed a proposal to offer a homestead exemption for first responders.
Current legislation allows state and local officers killed in the line of duty to receive a property tax exemption. Unfortunately, incidents have happened where federal officers have died in the line of duty and the state’s ability to provide relief to their surviving spouses was limited. Current legislation does not cover the homesteaded property of the surviving spouse of a first responder who dies in the line of duty while employed by the federal government. This bill expands the definition of “first responder” to include certain federal law enforcement officers.
“It is only fitting for first responders who become permanently and totally disabled in the line of duty and their spouses to receive this exemption. In the spirit of fairness, the federal officers killed in the line of duty and their spouses should be entitled to the same benefits as their state and local counterparts. We must ensure the process of legislative tax exemptions are equitable for the men and women who put their lives on the line for our communities. I am grateful and thankful for the expertise of Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar, who is a critically important partner in moving this piece of legislation forward,” Woodson said.
Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar, who served in the state House, is backing the proposal.
“Representative Woodson’s bill rightfully expands the definition of first responder to include federal law enforcement officers for the purpose of receiving ad valorem exemptions. This change in state law will allow federal officers who are Florida residents and become totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty as well as the surviving spouses of federal enforcement officers killed in the line of duty to qualify for much-needed tax relief. Thank you, Representative Woodson, for filing this important legislation,” Kiar said.
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