When do you apply for Homestead Exemption? Well, first off, let’s talk about what you have to have in order to be entitled to Homestead Exemption. You must own and occupy the property before December 31st to apply for Homestead for the following year. In addition to that, you must be a resident of the state of Florida, and furthermore, that you’re not receiving any Homestead Exemptions or any entitlement as a result of being a resident of another state. You need to be sure to do that. If you do, you have until March 1st of the following year in which to apply.
If you buy your property, or acquire this property, it become homestead during the year, you don’t have to wait to apply. You can apply at any time as soon as we get title to the property. I suggest to most folks that I deal with, particularly in a closing, I suggest that they go ahead and do it right away. Get their driver’s license changed, particularly from out of state, to show what their new address is, and tell them to apply right away so it doesn’t slip through the cracks. By getting Homestead Exemption, it exempts the first $25,000 of your tax valuation, or your assessed valuation, or taxable value that the property appraiser puts on your property, from taxes.
That will save you about $500. You pay tax on the taxable value of your property between $25,000 and $50,000. Then, from $50,000 to $75,000, you again exempt everything but school taxes. That saves you about another $300, so there is an immediate savings of $800. If you’ve seen those info commercials, there’s even more when you have Homestead Exemption. Under the Florida Constitution, there’s the Save Our Homes Amendment, which says that once you have Homestead Exemption, your assessed valuation will not increase by the lesser of cost of living or 3%, whichever is less.
As the property value increases and the assessed valuation increases, your taxable value, which I have mentioned a couple of times, stays at a very low level. The whole idea is to keep you in your home so the taxes don’t price you out of it. The question is, be sure if you bought your house, you moved into this home, and you’re not getting exemption from any other state, you need to hustle on down to the property appraiser and apply for a Homestead Exemption. If you’re not a dinosaur like me, and you’re involved with computers or whatever, I believe that you can go online and apply for Homestead Exemption.
Don’t be tempted to fudge as far is if you’re getting exemption in another state, or make sure you’re not. The penalties of getting Homestead Exemption and they find out are very severe. They put a big lien against your property if you do have Homestead in another state, and you have interest. It’s not pretty. Be sure you don’t have … If you have property in another state, that you’re not getting any exemption because you have to swear to that when you apply for Homestead Exemption. Get out there and get your Homestead Exemption before March 1. I’m not sure whether you can apply on March 1 or it has to be before. I think you can apply as late as March 1, but don’t procrastinate. If you have any questions, give me a call at 727-847-2288.