2) Shall the Act be approved which provides that, with respect to base year assessed value homestead exemptions, the surviving spouse of a deceased spouse who has been granted such a homestead exemption shall receive that exemption at the same base year valuation that applied to the deceased spouse so long as that surviving spouse continues to occupy the home as a residence and homestead? (HB 81, passed in 2006)
EXPLANATION: Allows the surviving spouse to retain the homestead exemption which the couple had while the other spouse was still alive. Overall, the surviving spouse would not incur any increased tax liability due to an increase in assessed value. PROS: Exemption requirements are based on age, income and disability. The taxpayers this would benefit are the younger spouses who may not qualify for the exemption on their own because they have not met the age requirements.
CONS: This referendum only provides this benefit to a very select group of the population and could have additional implementation ramifications. Further, the fiscal impact on state and local budgets is unknown.