If you are filing for the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption for the first time, the application must be received by your county’s Property Appraiser office on or before Monday, March 1. Below are some basic facts about this valuable exemption for homeowners.
What is the Florida homestead exemption?
Property taxes are calculated using the assessed value of your home. The Florida homestead exemption reduces the assessed value of your property, and therefore can save you money on property taxes.
How much assessed value is exempted?
The basic exemption is $25,000. A higher exemption exists for property owners whose assessed property value is in excess of $50,000, up to an additional $25,000.
Are there any special exemptions?
Yes, beyond the basic exemption there are additional exemptions for which certain individuals may be eligible. These individuals include:
Seniors with limited incomes
Widows and widowers
Surviving spouses of certain veterans
Disabled first responders, disabled law enforcement, disabled veterans
Active duty military
Who is eligible?
To qualify for the exemption, you must be a permanent resident of Florida, and the home must be your primary residence. You must reside in the home on January 1 of the year for which you claim your exemption. You will need to supply the required documentation when you apply.
Are there restrictions on the kind of property that can qualify for the homestead exemption?
The property must be your primary residence. Mobile homes are eligible if the property owner also owns the land on which the home is located. Investment property or a second home is not eligible for the exemption.
What is the Save Our Homes assessment limit?
Once you secure the homestead exemption, Florida statute limits the increase in assessed value each year to 3% of the prior year’s assessment. This is helpful if you live in an area where home prices are increasing dramatically.
What happens if I put my homestead into a living trust?
Your property retains its homestead exemption even if it is in your living trust. The Supreme Court of Florida has recognized this as a valid transfer. However, the trust must include language that addresses the homestead. Note that properties that are titled in the name of corporations, limited liability companies, irrevocable trusts, or partnerships do not qualify as homestead property.
Do I have to apply every year?
No. Once you have secured your homestead exemption, it renews automatically every year. You will receive a renewal confirmation card each year. If you have not moved and are still claiming your exemption, you don’t need to do anything. Note: It is very important that your property appraisers office knows where to send the confirmation card. If it ends up bouncing back to the Property Appraisers office, your homestead exemption may be cancelled.
What happens when the property owner dies?
If the owner was married or had a joint tenant with rights of survivorship, the exemption will continue, provided the property is the joint tenant’s primary residence.
If I am a first-time filer, do I need to visit the Property Appraisers office in person?
That depends on the county in which you live. For detailed information about this and other exemption-related matters, visit the property appraiser website in your county:
(772) 567-8000 ext. 1469
There is also more information from the Florida Department of Revenue