(Florida State Statute 193.155 and Chapter 196)
Homestead exemption amounts and application
- Florida state law and the Florida Constitution provide for numerous exemptions that lower the taxable value of certain properties, saving residents money in property taxes.
- The homestead exemption allows for a deduction of up to $50,000, the second $25,000 of which does not apply to school taxes, off the assessed value of a property owner’s primary residence.
- Any person who has legal title to real property in Florida on January 1 and “who in good faith makes the property his or her permanent residence . . . is entitled to an exemption from all taxation, except for assessments for special benefits, up to the assessed valuation of $25,000 on the residence and contiguous real property.”
- Intent to make property a permanent residence. Each county property appraiser makes the factual determination of whether a person intends to establish a permanent residence. Factors relevant to that determination, none of which are conclusive, include: place of employment of applicant, location where applicant’s dependent children are registered for school, applicant’s previous permanent residency outside of Florida and the date that residency was terminated, applicant’s voter registration, issuance of valid Florida driver’s license to applicant, issuance of a Florida tag on a motor vehicle owned by applicant, address on applicant’s federal income tax returns, proof of payment by applicant for utilities at the property being claimed as applicant’s permanent residence.
- Every person who qualifies for the above-explained exemption is entitled to “an additional exemption of up to $25,000 on the assessed valuation greater than $50,000 for all levies other than school district levies.”
- Application for homestead exemption must be made with the county property appraiser on or before March 1 of each year.
“Save Our Homes” cap on assessed value of homestead
- Properties are reassessed annually on January 1. The “Save Our Homes” Amendment to the Florida Constitution provides that changes resulting from reassessment cannot exceed the lower of:
- (1) 3% of the assessed value of the property for the previous year; or
- (2) The percentage change in the National Consumer Price Index.
Portability of homestead exemption
- A homeowner may transfer, or “port”, all or some of the “Save Our Homes” benefit of on his or her homestead to a new homestead, so long as the new homestead is established within two years of abandoning his or her previous homestead.
- Limitation on “port” amount
- If the value of the new homestead exceeds that of the most recent previous homestead, a homeowner may port up to $500,000 of capped value to his or her new homestead. For example, if the previous homestead was worth $600,000, but had an assessed value of only $300,000 (a $300,000 cap differential) and the new homestead is worth $800,000, that new home will be assessed at a maximum of $500,000 in the first year, with subsequent increases capped under “Save Our Homes.”
- If the value of the new homestead is lower than that of the most recent previous homestead, the amount of cap differential that may be ported is determined by dividing the assessed value of the previous homestead by the just value of that homestead and then multiplying that figure by the just value of the new homestead. For example, if the previous homestead had a just value of $1,000,000, but was assessed at $750,000, the new homestead will be assessed at 75% of the just value in the first year, for a cap differential of up to $500,000. Again, subsequent increases in the assessed value of the new homestead will be capped under “Save Our Homes.”
- Other exemptions, also reducing the taxable value of real property, include exemptions for:
- Deployed servicemembers
- Living quarters of parents or grandparents
- Historic preservation
- Surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders
- Senior citizens
- Please contact your local property appraiser to determine whether you are eligible to receive the above exemptions