What is Homestead Exemption?

Homestead Exemption is a constitutional guarantee that reduces the assessed value of residential property up to $25,000 for qualified permanent Florida residents.

When may a homeowner apply for homestead exemption?  

As soon as the homeowner occupies the residence as the legal owner and has proof of Florida residency. The homeowner must apply by March 1st and be the owner as of January 1 of the year for which you are filing.

What infomation is needed to file for homestead exemption?

  1. Proof of ownership -- such as the Deed to the property or property tax bill in the appliants name.
  2. Proof of Florida residency.

All owners who occupy the property are asked to show evidence of Florida residency as of January 1. The items most often presented are a Florida driver's license or Florida identification cards for non-drivers and a Florida voter's card.

In addition, one or more of the following may be requested:

  • Social security number -- married persons are required to present Social Security numbers for both spouses even when property is titled in one name.
  • Florida vehicle registration on all vehicles privately owned.
  • Resident Alien Card if not a US Citizen.
  • If property is held in a trust, the Trustee must provide a copy of the trust agreement showing beneficial interest or equitable title.

Note: If the applicant does not possess all these items, they may call The Property Appraiser's Office for further information.

Can a home be rented and still benefit from Homestead Exemption?

No. Rental of a primary residence constitutes abandonment of homestead exemption and possible other exemptions. The Tangible Personal Property Department should be contacted for further information.

Can a Mobile Home be eligible for the homestead exemption?

Yes. The homestead exemption is available for mobile home owners who also own the land on which the mobile home is permanently affixed. If you own the home and rent the land contact the Property Appraiser's Office.

Does the homeowner have to be a United States citizen to qualify?

No. Citizenship is no required to file for homestead exemption. An applicant who is not a U.S. citizen must present a permanent resident alien card (green card), and a Declaration of Domicile.

If the owner moves to another residence is the homestead exemption automatically transferred to the new home?

No. Exemptions are not transferred. For the homeowner to receive the exemption on the new home. they must apply for the exemption on or before March 1st. In turn, the person who purchases your home is responsible for his or her own filing to keep receiving that property's homestead exemption.

If property is owned by more than one person, must all owners file in person?

No. When owners are husband and wife, either can file in person and only one is required to sign the application. The spouse filing the application must supply documents establishing proof-of-ownership and Florida residency for both spouses. When tenants in common and joint owners apply, every owner who resides on the property and claims an exemption must file in person.

Are there other tax exemptions?

Yes. Personal exemptions that reduce the taxable value of the property are available to qualified Florida residents. The March 1 filing deadline applies to all exemption applications. Please call the Property Appraiser's Office if you think you are eligible to receive one of the following exemptions:

  • Widow or widower;
  • Civilian Disability; total and permanent disability
  • Blind Persons (legally blind)
  • Disabled Veterans (10% or more)

What is Amendment 10?

Amendment 10, also known as "Save Our Homes," is a Constitutional Amendment that was approved by Florida voters in 1992 It limits or caps the annual increase in assessed value of property that has a homestead exemption. The increase cannot exceed the lesser of 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year. In no way can the assessed value be more than market value.

Source: Brochure by Riddell Law Group.  Riddell Title & Escrow, L.L.C.  Jefferson Riddell, Board Certified Real Estate Attorney 
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