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Florida Property Tax Exemptions - What to Know

homestead and property exemptions

The Sunshine State is a popular place to call home, but beyond the beaches, warm weather, golf, fishing and more, those who own real estate here have to contend with that pesky annual payment - property taxes. While many people who relocate to Florida enjoy the lack of state income tax, real estate property taxes are still very much in play, creating an additional recurring cost to consider when choosing a home or condo to purchase. The good news is that there are several opportunities for tax relief in Florida in the form of exemptions. The most notable and often used exemption is the homestead exemption, but Florida homeowners can also lessen their tax burden if they are a senior, disabled, a Veteran, a widow(er), and several other options. But if you aren’t any of those, the property may still qualify for exemptions pertaining to conservation or or the preservation of history. Let’s explore tax exemption options in Florida:

Homestead Exemption

Everyone knows that Florida is a hotspot for second-home, vacation and investment properties, and if you own such property then this exemption is NOT for you. The homestead exemption is a state-wide entitlement for all Floridians who have legal or beneficial title to real property and who, in good faith, make this same property their permanent residence. The initial amount for homestead exemption is $25,000, with an additional $25,000 in exemption granted to those with properties that have assessed values of at least $75,000. To qualify, one must own and reside at the property on or before January 1st of the year the application is made, and the application deadline for homestead is March 1st of the year you wish the exemption to begin. Some required documents you will need when applying include:

  • A copy of a Florida Driver’s License or Florida ID card showing the residential address
  • Florida Vehicle Registration (if registered)
  • Social Security Number for each applicant and spouse, even if spouse does not own or live at the property in question

One other item to note is that homestead exemption does not automatically transfer to new properties. If you make a move from one homesteaded property to a new Florida home that you intend as your permanent residence, you will still need to complete a new application for homestead.

Senior Exemption

Getting older has its benefits as there are additional homestead exemption opportunities in Florida for our seniors aged 65 and older. The additional amount of property tax relief can be up to $50,000 but is dictated by each county or municipality, and the exemption only applies to the taxes being levied by that same unit of government. One other thing to keep in mind regarding the Senior Exemption is that there is a household income limit that a homeowner must be below in order to qualify.

Disability Exemption

For those with a disability, Florida offers tax savings that range from a $5,000 assessed value exemption up to a total exemption from taxation. With proper documentation, disabled homeowners who use a property as a homestead can be awarded the $5,000 exemption which equates to roughly $100 in savings annually. For quadriplegics and those wheel-chair bound, a full tax exemption is possible as long as the homeowner's income does not exceed certain caps.

Veteran Exemption

Like the standard Disability exemption, Veterans are also eligible for property tax exemptions based on the severity of their service-connected disabilities. For Veterans with at least a 10% service connected disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and who are permanent Florida residents, a $5,000 exemption on the property’s assessed value is available. For Veterans considered “Total & Permanent” in their service connected disability, a total tax exemption is possible. This benefit may also be able to be used by the spouse of the Veteran if the Veteran is deceased as well.

Widow / Widower Exemption

Any widow or widower who is a permanent Florida resident qualifies for the $5,000 exemption off the home’s assessed value. If the homeowner remarries then their exemption eligibility ends. Approximate annual tax savings are $100 with this benefit.

Granny Flat Exemption

The Granny Flat exemption applies to Florida homeowners who, through construction or reconstruction, provide a living quarters for one or more parents or grandparents who are at least 62 years of age. The reduction in the assessed property value that this exemption provides is variable, but may not exceed the increase in the assessed value resulting from construction or 20% of the total assessed value.

Religious, Literary, Charitable, Education, & Other Exemptions

Entities that are already considered exempt, such as non-profits, are eligible for property tax exemption in Florida, to include churches, affordable housing, charter schools, and much more. The property must be used for exempt purposes.

Other possible property tax exemptions or reductions in Florida include Conservation Exemption, Economic Development Exemption, Historical Exemption, First Responder Exemption, and Agriculture Classification.

We hope that you found this list of possible property tax exemptions helpful as you begin, or continue, your Florida real estate search. The information provided here does not cover every aspect of each exemption, but should be a good jumping off point. For local reference here is the Volusia County tax exemption page. If you have questions about qualification, where and when to file, or any other real estate related questions, we would be happy to help. Contact us today and start saving money on your tax bill!

 

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