What is a homestead exemption? Under our Florida constitution, it provides that each property owner is entitled to exempt the first $25,000.00 of their home from taxes, provided that they are a Florida resident and applied for this exemption. In addition to the first $25,000.00, there’s an additional $25,000.00 exemption for the assessed value between $50,000.00 and $75,000.00. The difference between the first $25,000.00 and the second $25,000.00 is the school taxes are not included in the second $25,000.00. So, if you apply for homestead exemption and the assessed value of your property is $75,000.00 or more, then you will save approximately $800.00. In order to apply for a homestead exemption, you must own the home prior to the year which you apply for a homestead exemption and you must be a resident of the state of Florida and reside in the home; you need to be a permanent resident in the state of Florida.
You cannot claim homestead exemption from anyone else or any other state or any other place, so you can’t have two homestead exemptions. Your homestead exemption is provided for under the Florida constitution and you save about $800.00 a year in taxes with a homestead exemption. In addition to homestead exemption, they have Save Our Homes Constitutional Amendment, which once you apply, it locks in your assessed valuation for that particular year, and the constitution provides that the assessed value will not increase by more than the cost of living index or three percent, whichever is less. Lately, the values have been declining rather than increasing, but if we get back into a market whenever the values continue to increase, then, Save Our Homes can be a huge benefit to property owners.
Also, I might suggest it if you’re selling your property here in Florida and either downsizing or moving – or increasing your homestead, you can transfer that. It’s called portability, so be sure to tell your property appraiser when you apply for a homestead exemption on your new home that you’re transferring your homestead and ask them whether or not you can get any benefit by transferring your homestead exemption from one house to another. If you have any questions about what is a homestead, you can give me a call at (727) 847-2288.