Homestead Exemption Questions & Answers
- What is a Homestead Exemption?
- Florida's constitution provides for a $25,000 exemption, which is deducted from a property's assessed value if the owner qualifies. Applicants who timely file by March 1, possess title to the real property, and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home as of January 1, qualify for the exemption. Properties granted Homestead Exemption also automatically receive the "Save Our Homes," Amendment 10, benefit.
- Who is eligible for the Homestead Exemption?
- Every person who holds legal or equitable title to real property, maintains it as his/her permanent residence, and is a legal resident of Florida as of January 1, of any year, can qualify for the exemption for that year.
You must be a legal, permanent resident of Florida as of January 1 in order to qualify for a personal exemption.
- What is the additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption for and who can receive this?
- All persons receiving the standard Homestead Exemption, and who continue to qualify for that exemption, automatically qualify to receive the additional Homestead Exemption. No further application is necessary. The additional $25,000 exemption applies to taxable values greater than $50,000 and up to $75,000, for all tax levies except school district levies.
If your home is worth $50,000, you receive the first $25,000 exemption for all tax levies. This does not include any additional exemptions for which you may be eligible. Your taxes will be based on $25,000 minus any additional exemptions.
If your home is worth $60,000, you receive the first $25,000 exemption for all tax levies plus $10,000 of the additional exemption for all tax levies except the school district. This does not include any additional exemptions for which you may be eligible. Your taxes will be based on $25,000 minus any additional exemptions.
If your home is worth $78,000, you receive the first $25,000 for all tax levies plus $25,000 of the additional exemption for all tax levies except the school district. This does not include any additional exemptions for which you may be eligible. Your taxes will be based on $28,000 minus any additional exemptions.
- How do I file for A Property Tax Exemption?
- New applications for Homestead Exemptions may be filed online or in person, at the Property Appraiser's office between January 1 and March 1, with one exception. Florida law allows new Homestead applications only to be filed prior to January 1 of the year the exemption is to be effective. The Property Appraiser begins accepting pre-filed Homestead applications on March 2 of each year for the succeeding year.
To better serve our residents, Homestead Exemption applications can now be made online by clicking here.
- Who can file online?
- The online service supports the following Homestead applicants who possess a Florida Driver License or Identification Card with current address and are United States Citizens:
- Single homeowner
- Married homeowners filing together
- Life Estate
- Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship
*The online service does not currently support new homestead applications for modular or mobile homes, individuals who are not U S Citizens, or the following additional Homestead exemption benefits:
- Age 65 and older with limited income (amount determined by ordinance)
- Age 65 and older with limited income and permanent residency for 25 years or more
- $500 Widowed
- $500 Blind
- $500 Totally and permanently disabled
- Total and permanent disability – quadriplegic
- Certain total and permanent disabilities – limited income hemiplegic, paraplegic, wheelchair required, or legally blind
- Disabled veteran discount, 65 or older
- Veteran disabled 10% or more
- Disabled veteran confined to wheelchair, service connected
- Service-connected totally and permanently disabled veteran or surviving spouse
- Surviving spouse of veteran who died while on active duty
- Surviving spouse of first responder who died in the line of duty
- Can I rent my home and keep my exemptions?
- No. Rental of a primary residence constitutes abandonment of Homestead property. If you are active duty military, you may rent your home while away on orders and keep your Florida residency. Please notify our office before you leave on orders.
- I just purchased a home and my TRIM indicates Homestead Exemption, have I applied?
- No. After you purchase property and the deed is recorded in the Clerk of Court Recording division, our records are updated. The new owner will receive the notice if the transfer occurs before August.
- Can I transfer my Homestead Exemption to a new home?
- No. Homestead Exemptions are not transferred. A new application is required on any new purchase. However, you should contact your property appraiser to inquire if portability is applicable in your situation.
- I have a business with my home; does Homestead Exemption apply to the whole property?
- No. Homestead Exemption applies only to the residential unit. Commercial property or operations, such as rental property, do not qualify. That portion of the property cannot be captured under Homestead Exemption or Amendment 10 protection.
- Who is eligible for Save Our Homes Portability?
- Every Florida resident receiving Homestead Exemption in Florida who gives up that Homestead and wishes to transfer a Save Our Home assessment difference from the previous Homestead, must re-establish a Homestead Exemption within two (2) years of January 1 of the year in which the person left the prior Homestead. In addition, Form DR501T must be completed and submitted to the property appraiser in the county where the new Homestead is located. The deadline due date for this form and new applications is March 1.
- What is the Save Our Homes Amendment?
- “Save Our Homes” (SOH), is an Amendment to the Florida Constitution, approved by Florida voters in 1992, effective January 1, 1995. SOH places a limitation of 3% on annual assessment increases on Homestead Exempt property. For all property first granted Homestead Exemption in the prior year, that year’s market value will be the base value for the implementation of “Save Our Homes”. Thereafter, the assessed value will not increase more than 3% or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. The property’s market value may differ from SOH assessed value. SOH assessed value will never be greater than market value. Section 193.155, Florida Statutes, was enacted to implement the amendment to the Florida Constitution to limit annual increases in property value assessments on real property qualifying for and receiving the Homestead Exemption.
- What properties are affected by the Save Our Homes Amendment?
- Only Homestead property that remains under the same ownership during the calendar year qualifies for the limitation.
- How does a divorce or death of a spouse affect your SOH cap?
- The cap remains in effect upon the change of title due to divorce or death of a spouse as long as the remaining owner originally made application and continues to live on the property as their permanent residence.
- What types of property are not subject to the Save Our Homes cap?
- Non-Homestead property (such as residences without Homestead, vacant land, non-residential property), agricultural property, tangible personal property, as well as Homestead property that has been sold or otherwise conveyed to a new owner during the calendar year are not subject to the limitation on assessment. (For more information on non-Homestead property assessment capping, see "Non-Homestead Limitation").
- What about improvements or additions to the property in regards to SOH?
- The additions or improvements are valued at market value in the year of construction, and that value is then added to your capped assessment. SOH then applies to these additions/improvements in subsequent years.
- How is property with a partial Homestead Exemption affected by SOH?
- Only that portion of the property receiving Homestead Exemption is subject to the assessment limitation. The remainder of the property is assessed at full market value under the law.
- What is the so-called "recapture" rule?
- In September 1995, the Governor and Cabinet approved a rule directing property appraisers to raise the assessed value of a qualifying Homestead property by the maximum of 3% or the CPI, whichever is less, on all properties assessed at less than full market value whether or not that property's value increased during that calendar year. For example, Property A's market value increased by 10% this year. As a Homestead property, the property appraiser can only increase its value by 3%, or CPI, whichever is less, under the SOH limitation. In the next year, Property A's market value did not change. Since its assessed value under the limitation remains under market value, the property appraiser must increase the assessed value by 3%, or CPI, to bring its value closer to market value.
- What happens when a property is sold or otherwise conveyed to a new owner?
- The assessment on any property which is sold or otherwise conveyed to new owner during a calendar year is raised to full market value according to law. The limitation will be applied to the assessed value in the first year following the year in which the new owner qualifies the property for Homestead Exemption. Even if the property received a Homestead Exemption under the previous owner, the limitation - just like the exemption - expires with a change in ownership. The new owner must apply for and receive a Homestead Exemption.
- Can my TAXES go up more than SOH capped percentage?
- Yes, SOH is a limitation on the assessed value of the Homestead property, not the taxes. Millage rates (determined by the various taxing authorities) may increase or decrease as those taxing authorities determine their budgets. In addition, on multi-dwelling/agricultural parcels only the Homesteaded portion is subject to the SOH limitation.
- If I have other questions, where can I get answers?
- Direct inquiries can be made to our offices from 8:00 a.m to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:
6495 Caroline Street, Suite K, Milton, FL 32570, Phone: (850) 983-1880
5841 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Suite A, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563, Phone: (850) 983-19123