By law, a homestead exemption is not transferable. If you move, your homestead exemption does not automatically follow you to your new residence. You must file a new application for your new residence.
While your homestead exemption is not transferable, you can transfer the accumulated Save Our Homes benefits (as defined by law) from one homestead to another homestead, anywhere in Florida. This is known as "portability" of your Save Our Homes tax savings benefit.
If you bought your property after January 1st of the current tax year and if the prior owner qualified for homestead exemption on January 1st, the prior owner’s exemption carries over for this year only and will be removed for the following year. You must file for your own homestead exemption.
If you are not sure if you have a current homestead exemption, please call or visit one of our offices and we will be glad to verify that for you.
How many days out of the year does someone have to live in Florida to be eligible for homestead exemption?
You must reside on your homestead property as your primary residence. However, there is no particular amount of time you have to be physically present on the property to qualify for homestead exemption. To qualify for homestead exemption, you have to declare Florida as your permanent residence. For example, if you vote, you must vote in Florida. If you drive, you must have a Florida driver’s license. Your home address on your federal income tax return should be Florida. There is no specific amount of time you must spend in Florida.
Initial application for homestead exemption and other exemptions must be made at the Property Appraiser's Office by March 1st of the year you are applying for. You may pre-file for exemptions anytime after you take ownership of the property, become a permanent resident or become eligible for specific exemptions for the following year's taxes.
The deadline to file for homestead exemption is March 1st of the current tax year. However, you may late file up to 25 days from that date the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes are mailed. For help, please contact our office at 772-288-5608.
If I tear down my house to rebuild, will I get to keep my homestead exemption and Save Our Homes benefit? The following procedure will be used for those properties with homestead exemption that are gutted, under major remodel or torn down as of January 1 of the tax year:
- Each property will be reviewed individually for eligibility to maintain homestead exemption and Save Our Homes benefits.
- Owner cannot have a residency based exemption anywhere else and must continue to be a Florida resident.
- For each tax year that the improvement remains under construction, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact our office and let us know the status of the construction as of January 1 of the tax year.
- Owner must show due diligence in completing the home construction. The construction time should be similar to other homes of that quality, size and amenities.
- Each owner will be required to sign an Affidavit of Intent, which means you still intend to make this your permanent residence.
- The land portion of the assessed value will continue to receive the homestead 3% cap as long as the owner meets the criteria for homestead exemption. On January 1st of the year your improvements are completed, the value of those improvements will be added at full market value to both your market and assessed values. In subsequent years those improvements will receive the homestead 3% cap on the assessed value.
If the Property Appraiser determines that for any year within the previous 10 years a person was not entitled to homestead exemption and was granted an exemption, the Property Appraiser shall serve upon the owner a notice of intent to record in the public records of the county a notice of tax lien against any property owned by that person in the state. Any property owned by the taxpayer and situated in this state is subject to the taxes exempted by the improper homestead exemption, plus a penalty of 50% of the unpaid taxes for each year and interest at a rate of 15% per annum.
Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment in 1992 to “cap” or limit increases in the assessed value of homestead-exempt property to 3% per year or the amount of increase in the consumer price index (CPI), whichever is lower.
- When a property with homestead exemption is sold, Florida law requires that the following year the homestead exemption and cap be removed, and the property be re-assessed to equal its market value. The buyer should not rely on the seller’s current property taxes as the amount of property taxes that the buyer may be obligated to pay in the year subsequent to purchase. A change of ownership triggers reassessment of the property that could result in higher property taxes. If you have any questions concerning valuation, contact the Property Appraiser’s office for information.
Warning: If you purchased your property after January 1st of the current tax year, you may have inherited the previous owner’s exemption and Save Our Homes benefit. By state law, this exemption and Save Our Homes benefit will be removed the following year. You must file for your own homestead exemption.
- The first year you receive your homestead exemption is your “base year" and the assessed value will be the same as the market value. The year after you first receive homestead exemption will be the first year the assessed value is capped, or limited from increasing. For example, if you have a new homestead exemption for 2022, your assessed value will not be capped or limited from increasing until 2023. The increase is not automatic since the assessed value cannot be greater than the market value.
- If you make additions or improvements to your property, the value of these improvements will be added to the roll regardless of the cap. For example, if you added a pool to your property in 2022, your 2023 assessed value can increase no more than 3% plus the value of the pool.
- The cap applies only to property value, not to property taxes.
- Non-homestead properties have a 10% cap.
- The homestead cap does not apply to portions of multi-use or multi-family properties that are being used for business or rental. For example, if you own a duplex, live in one half and rent the other, the homestead cap will only apply to the portion of the property you occupy as your homestead. The non-homesteaded portion of the property will have the non-homestead cap.
Your homestead and most other exemptions will automatically renew every year, unless you notify our office that you are no longer eligible. If you move, you must file a new homestead exemption application for your new residence.
The property taxes last year were based solely on the seller’s property exemptions and Save Our Homes benefit. Whenever there is a change in ownership, the assessed value of the property may reset to full market value, which may result in higher property taxes. The current taxes are now based on the value of the home as of January 1st. Last year you purchased this home after January 1st, so you saw a first-year tax bill that was based on the previous owners’ benefits.
- 2023 3.0%
- 2022 3.0%
- 2021 1.4%
- 2020 2.3%
- 2019 1.9%
- 2018 2.1%
- 2017 2.1%
- 2016 0.7%
- 2015 0.8%
- 2014 1.5%
- 2013 1.7%
- 2012 3.0%
- 2011 1.5%
- 2010 2.7%
- 2009 0.1%
- 2008 3.0%
- 2007 2.5%
- 2006 3.0%
- 2005 3.0%
- 2004 1.9%
- 2003 2.4%
- 2002 1.6%
- 2001 3.0%
- 2000 2.7%
- 1999 1.6%
- 1998 1.7%
- 1997 3.0%
- 1996 2.5%
- 1995 2.7%
The Save Our Homes cap applies only to the assessed value (not including new construction such as a new swimming pool) and does not apply to property taxes.
Although your market value may have decreased or stayed the same, if it does not go down as low as your assessed value, your assessed value will continue to increase at the cap rate for that year until it reaches market value.
I applied for homestead exemption this year and I see that it has been deducted on my Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. But, my home value went up more than the allowed percentage. Why?
- The Save Our Homes cap does not apply until after the first year you have homestead exemption. or
- You had some new construction which is valued at market the first year. Then the following year, it will be capped also. or
- Part of your property is used for commercial use and is covered under the 10% Non-homestead cap. For example, if you own a duplex, live in one half and rent the other, the 3% cap will only apply to the portion of the property you occupy as your homestead and the 10% cap applies to the remainder. or
- If the property is owned as “tenants in common”, and not all the owners qualify for homestead, then the cap will only apply to the portion of the value that is owned by the applicant. If the applicant owns 50% of the property, then only 50% of the value will cap.
If you purchased the home after January 1st in the current year, then you won't qualify for the homestead exemption until the next year. So your application was a pre-file for next year.
A Reduction in Assessment for Living Quarters of Parents or Grandparents is referred to as a “Granny Flat.”
Homeowners that currently have an existing homestead exemption and build a living space to accommodate parents or grandparents, may be eligible to receive the Granny Flat benefit. The Granny Flat benefit is a reduction of assessed property value, and consequently a savings in property taxes.
This reduction of assessed value applies only to new construction or reconstruction completed after January 7, 2003.
- The construction shall be complete, and the parent/grandparent needs to occupy the addition on or before January 1st of the year they are applying for.
- At least one parent/grandparent is 62 years of age or older on January 1st of the year they are applying for.
- The parent/grandparent cannot receive homestead exemption or residency-based benefits on any other property in any other State, County or Taxing Authority.
- An application is to be submitted before March 1 of the year for which the property value reduction is to be granted. Annually, the homeowner benefitting from the Granny Flatproperty value reduction is required to submit an affidavit affirming that the parent/grandparent still occupies the Granny Flat living space.
- The property value exempted from taxes cannot be more than the increase in assessed value from the construction or reconstruction OR 20% of the total assessed value of the property, whichever is less.
With the high cost of purchasing a home these days, many parents are “co-owning” properties with their adult children. With that, parents can have homestead exemption on their own home and the adult children can also have homestead exemption on the home they co-own with their parents.