Florida Homestead Exemption
Buying a home in Florida may entitle you to the benefits to Florida Homestead Exemption. Florida is relatively unique when it comes to real estate and tax laws. Homestead Exemption is a perk of owning a home and provides financial benefits to homeowners.
Benefits of a Homestead Exemption
As a Florida resident and homeowner, you are entitled to a Homestead Exemption. Essentially, this is the act of registering your primary residence with the state government for tax purposes. Once registered, the benefits of homesteading are numerous.
On the most basic level, a homestead exemption entitles homeowners to a deduction of $25,000 off of their property’s assessed value. This in turn lowers the tax burden of the home and results in tax savings. Additionally, if the home is worth at least $50,000, the owner qualifies for an additional $25,000 deduction from the assessed value of the home, further increasing tax savings. This additional deduction, however, does not apply to school tax levies.
Additionally, pursuant to the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution, the assessed value of your homestead property cannot increase more than 3% per year.
What Qualifies as a Homestead Property?
Pursuant to Florida law, the definition of a homestead property is very specific.
1. Owner must hold the legal or beneficial title
a. Note: Can be owned by a trust, but not a corporation
2. Must be the permanent residence of the owner. This is defined as “that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning.”
3. Only applies to the portion of property that is classified and assessed as owner-occupied
a. Note: Mixed-use properties only receive exemption on occupied portion
4. Applies to ONE property
How to Apply for Homestead Exemption
To apply for Homestead Exemption, it is fairly simple. Essentially, you need to complete a homestead exemption application online or at the county Property Appraiser’s Office. Access this link for the St. Johns County Property Appraiser's Office. The application must be completed before March 1st of the tax year for which the exemption is sought. For example, to receive a 2015 homestead exemption, you must have filed between January 1st and March 1st of 2015. If you move into a new Florida home after January 1st, then you will not qualify for the Homestead Exemption till the following tax year. The Homestead Exemption renewal process is automatic meaning you do not need to reapply on an annual basis unless you relocate. It is the responsibility of the property owner to notify the Property Appraiser’s Office of any changes to their homestead exemption.
All members of Team Johnson of Alta Realty Company are Florida residents. We each own our own homes and understand the real estate law both from a professional and a personal standpoint. We would welcome an opportunity to be your real estate resource and not just be your real estate agents for the sale but rather your real estate agents for life. Give us a call at 904-217-3711 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org