The Florida Homestead Exemption Can Greatly Reduce Your Property Tax.
What is the Florida Homestead Exemption?
For Floridians, a $25,000 exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of a property owner's assessed value of the property if the property is the owner's permanent residence and that owner has owned the property on January 1 of the tax year. This applies to all taxes including school district taxes.
An additional exemption of up to $25,000 can be applied if the property's assessed value is between at least $50,000 and $75,000 but does not include school district taxes. This could create savings of up to $750 for qualifying applicants.
Florida property owners must either have a Florida Driver's License or ID, Florida car registration, Voter ID, or SS card or Immigration documents if not a U.S. citizen.
Can I apply every year for the exemption?
No. Applicants only need to apply once as it will carry over annually. However, after the first year, a 3% Save Our Homes cap is applied to the assessed value meaning the value will not increase by more than 3% per year.
How to Apply
All exemptions must be filed by March 1 online at pbcgov.org/papa or in person at the North County Service Center at 3188 PGA Blvd in Palm Beach Gardens. The Jupiter Community Center also holds a hosted session throughout the year where homeowners can apply.
What happens when home values go up or down?
As the housing market shifts, home values change. As soon as you own or buy a new home, any old exemptions expire so new homeowners must re-apply for the exemption. Any previously assessed value cannot apply to new exemptions. First-time homeowners should take advantage of the exemption as soon as possible.
Can the exemption apply to rentals?
A property that has a homestead exemption can be rented for less than 30 days each year and maintain the exemption. If a property is rented for more than 30 days but less than 6 months in the same year will only qualify for the exemption every other year. If the property is rented on January 1, the exemption will be denied. This is because any property rented for more than 6 months is considered a commercial property and not a "homestead".
What if you don't live in Florida?
Florida does not require a minimum timeframe for occupancy. Owners technically don't have to live in the property at all but the property must be claimed as the primary residence and meet the rental standards to qualify.
Other potential exemptions include low-income seniors citizen exemption for those 65+, widow/widower, honorable service-connected disabled veterans, and civilians. All exemptions are located here.