Ocala resident discusses Amendment 11, tax relief for local seniors

For the editor:

Growth in Marion County, both commercial and residential, has been exponential since 2012, when county voters passed Amendment 11 by more than 60 percent. But the County Board of Commissioners denied property tax relief (only available to low-income people over 65 who had lived in their homes for more than 25 years, worth less than $250,000 ). If these long-standing, deep-rooted seniors find themselves unable to pay their property taxes (due to loss of spouse, medical emergency, home or car repairs, etc.), they can be evicted without compensation from their most precious and necessary asset: their home.

A $249,000 house can be taken because of a $20,000 debt? The government can’t take your house out of business, but for that, Marion County can? The County Board of Commissioners feared in 2012 that the exemption offered to this small class of needy senior citizens (offered unanimously by the Florida Legislature in 2012 in a 156-0 vote) would drain too much money. taxes from their purse. Yes, maybe, but now we have Chewy, Amazon, FedEx, etc., and residential growth everywhere.

Federal money was poured in for pandemic relief. I believe Amendment 11 has been overlooked, but please consider joining me on February 1, 2022 at 9:15 a.m. at the Board of County Commissioners meeting to voice your views on this serious matter. These elders are the backbone of this county, supporting businesses, restaurants, and more. since 25 years. Most retirees have no pension, just the social security they’ve paid into all their lives. They deserve the break that lawmakers have so clearly seen as necessary. How a society treats its elders reflects its values.

Joy Romanians
Ocala resident

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Penny D. Jackson