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Homestead Tax Exemption and Your Home

Homestead Exemption

Property taxes are a normal part of home ownership.  It is often a large expense of owning a home so it is important to take advantage of the opportunity to make it as affordable as possible. You can file for Homestead Exemption which gives you many benefits including financial savings. 

Here are some basics about the homestead exemption. 

  • You needed to have owned the home as of December 31 to obtain homestead for the following year.
  • You will need to file for the homestead exemption by March 1st.
  • You may qualify for additional exemptions which will improve tax savings.  For a list and information on additional exemptions go to http://www.pbcgov.com/papa/ and scroll to the bottom. 
  • Taxes are paid in arrears so the tax bill that we receive in the fall is for the tax period from January 1-December 31 of the current year.

Why should you consider filing for Homestead Exemption

Filing for Homestead Exemption will offer you a reduction in the assessed value.  This will allow you to save money on your taxes.  In addition, having the homestead exemption will offer financial protection.  The most important reason and benefit is the protection against large increases due to changes in market appreciation.  The Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution, the assessed value of your homestead property cannot increase more than 3% per year or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index whichever is less.

With the Homestead Exemption, you will receive $25,000 off of the Assessed Value. If your home is worth more than $75,000, you will recive and additional $25,000 off of the Assessed Value. 

Portability of Tax Savings? 

One of the changes was the ability, in many cases, to take your tax savings with you.  They can be transferred to your new Florida home.  You can transfer up to $500,000 of your property's 3% assessment cap to your new property anywhere in Florida. There are some requirements to benefit from portability. 

If you are downsizing, you will be able to take a portion of your cap depending on the percentage difference between the 2 homes. 

You have two tax roll years (not 2 calendar years) to move your savings.