MIAMI, Fla. – As property values continue to rise in Florida, an existing state law that protects the homes of senior citizens living on a fixed income needs a new threshold for homestead exemption to extend their property tax break.

A proposed bill in the House and Senate would ask voters to change an 11-year-old constitutional amendment, to increase the homestead exemption by $50,000 for homes valued at $300,000, for residents 65 and over who have lived in their homes for more than 25 years.

In 2012, 61 percent of Florida voters or less approved an amendment for local governments to offer homestead exemption for homes valued at less than $250,000. That became law in 2013.

HJR 159 would ask voters on the November 2024 ballot whether they’d like to raise the cap to $300,000, while HB 161 would make the law effective starting Jan. 1, 2015.

Republican State Rep. David Borrero of Sweetwater is sponsoring the bill and has bipartisan support, with a host of cosponsors including African American Democrat Reps.

Marie Woodson and Lisa Dunkely from Broward County, Miami Gardens Rep. Christopher Benjamin, and Central Florida Rep. Yvonne Hinson.

Republican State Reps. Tom Fabricio of Miramar, Fabian Basabe from Miami-Dade, Alex Rizo from Hialeah, Vicki Lopez and Alina Garcia from Miami, and Rick Roth from Palm Beach County are also cosponsors.

Miami Springs Republican Sen. Brian Avila is sponsoring the Senate version but has yet to draw any cosponsors.

Borrero said inflation continues to drive up the cost of living in Florida mostly impacting senior citizens struggling to make ends meet.

Living on a fixed income with increasing property values makes it more different from them to keep their homes.

Some reluctantly sold their homes because they could no longer afford the property taxes and homeowners insurance.

“Let’s make it easier for low-income seniors to keep their homes, which they’ve poured their entire lives into keeping,” Borrero said.

“It’s the American dream. I can’t tell you how many low-income seniors I’ve talked to knocking on doors, almost crying, telling me they had to choose between paying their insurance and their property taxes. It’s not a good situation that any low-income senior should be in.”

According to a House study, if 60 percent of voters approve the amendment, local governments could see about $5.7 million less in revenue each year.

According to, Miami-Dade County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States for 2022: $2,756 per year for a home worth the median value of $269,600.

Miami-Dade County collects, on average, 1.02 percent of property assessed fair market value as property tax.

In addition, with senior citizens living on limited financial resources, the cost of living in Miami is 20 percent higher than the state average and 21 percent higher than the national average, according to

In Broward County, the average tax rate is 1.98578 per $100,000 of property value but varies depending on the millage rates of major cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pompano Beach.

With an average rate of 1.02 percent, Palm Beach County residents pay an average of $2,679 a year in property taxes.