Save Our Homes
The Florida Constitution was amended effective January 1, 1995, to limit annual increases in assessed value of property with Homestead Exemption to three percent or the change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. No assessment, though, shall exceed current fair market value. This limitation applies only to property value, not property taxes. This is known as the Save Our Homes benefit.
The Save Our Homes benefit prevents homestead property owners from being taxed out of their homes. So, when someone buys a home and files for homestead, from that point forward, even if their market value appreciates 10% in one year, their assessed value cannot increase any more than 3% each year (not including new construction such as a new swimming pool). Over time, there is an accumulation of “non-taxed” assessed value which may reset to full market value the year following a change in ownership. That is why when buying a home, you should not assume that the property taxes will remain the same.
Homestead Portability (Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference)
In January, 2008, voters approved a constitutional amendment which allows portability of accumulated “Save Our Homes” (SOH) benefits for homeowners who move from one homestead to another, anywhere in Florida. Note: The SOH benefit is the difference between a property’s market value for tax purposes and its assessed value that’s been limited from increasing.
- When you move, you have from January 1st of the year you move, until January 1st three years later, to re-establish homestead and retain the SOH benefit. For example, if you sell or move from your homestead property in September of 2020, you have until January 1, 2023 to move in and reestablish your homestead on a different property in Florida in order to retain the SOH benefit.
- If “upsizing” to a home of equal or greater market value, the homestead owner can transfer 100% of the SOH benefit to the new homestead, up to a $500,000 transferred benefit.
- If “downsizing” to a home of lower market value, the homestead owner can transfer a SOH benefit that protects the same percentage of value as it did the former homestead, up to a $500,000 transferred benefit. Click here for portability calculator.
- Upsizing and Downsizing Examples
To receive the benefit, you must apply for both the homestead exemption and the transfer of the SOH benefit by March 1 of the tax year. If you missed the March 1st filing deadline, contact our office at 772-288-5608 for information on how to late file for your exemption and SOH benefit.
If you are eligible, please download the DR-501T form, Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference. Complete the form DR-501T and include the completed form with your homestead exemption application.
Please complete, sign and date your homestead exemption application, and return it to the Martin County Property Appraiser's office:
Martin County Property Appraiser
ATTN: Homestead Department
3473 SE Willoughby Blvd., Suite 101
Stuart, FL 34994
If you have any questions regarding homestead exemption applications/filing please contact us at (772) 288-5608.