This month, I will explain the Florida Homestead Exemption, since the application deadline is fast approaching on March 1, 2017.
If you moved to a new home last year and haven’t done so already, please remember to apply for the Florida Homestead property tax exemption before the deadline of March 1, 2017. There are numerous financial benefits to having this exemption, including a saving of up to $750 annually on property taxes!
Florida residents who own and live in their permanent residence can apply for this exemption. You must live in the home as of January 1st of this year.
Another major benefit of the Homestead Exemption is that the assessed value of your home, which is used to calculate your property taxes, cannot increase more than 3% per year, pursuant to the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution. This prevents large increases in property taxes with market fluctuation that can be devastating for homeowners on a fixed-income.
After a homeowner has lived in a home for many years, the assessed value “savings” can accumulate to a significant amount. In the past, this accumulated savings used to be lost when a homeowner sold their home and moved to a new one. This resulted in some homeowners effectively become “trapped” and couldn’t afford to move because the new home had a much heavier tax burden. Fortunately, Florida passed the law that allowed “Portability”, where we can now transfer up to $500,000 of accumulated “savings” from a previous homestead to a new one. The diagram below explains this.
You should definitely take advantage of this law. Be sure to apply if you haven’t done so already.
Once you receive the Homestead Exemption, it is automatically renewed each year. You do not have to re-file again, until you move.
You can file the application online, by mail, or in person. We have included links for the 5 counties in Central Florida at the bottom for your convenience.
You will need to provide the following documentations:
- Valid Florida Driver’s License or Florida Identification Card
- At least one of the following:
- Florida Vehicle Registration
- Florida Voter Registration Card
- Recorded Declaration of Domicile
- Social Security numbers are required for all owners making application and their spouses, even if the spouse does not own and/or reside on the property. Preferably your card or some other document with your number.
- If you are not a United States Citizen: A Permanent Residence (green) Card (front and back).
Main homestead page http://www.ocpafl.org/Exemptions/hx_file.aspx
Online Form https://exemption.ocpafl.org/
Satellite offices http://www.ocpafl.org/satelliteoffices.aspx
Okay I will stop here. We sincerely wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. As always, if you have any real estate related questions, give us a call! We are happy to discuss real estate topics even when it’s not business.
Also, we love referrals!
Until next month, take care!