A calamity occurs when your home is physically damaged or destroyed by an event beyond your control. Events such as fire or hurricanes would qualify as calamity. This applies to both homesteaded and non-homesteaded property. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to notify the Office of the Property Appraiser of damage or destruction as soon as possible.

Any damage or destruction that occurred due to calamity or misfortune will be reflected as of January 1 of the following tax roll year. The Property Appraiser will consider the condition of the property as of January 1 and any repairs that have been made and completed by January 1, will be taken into account. Since the valuation of your property is done in arrears, the recognition of damage still present as of January 1, cannot be accounted for until the following tax roll year.

Under normal circumstances, any improvements made to your property would be assessed at full market value once substantially completed. However, under the calamity provision, any changes, additions or improvements made to the dwelling as a result of calamity, are protected from being assessed at full market value.

Under the Florida Statutes, if your improvements are damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity, the assessed value may not be increased due to the required changes, additions or improvements that replace all or a portion of the property when:

  • The total square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 1,500 square feet; or
  • The square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 110 percent of the square footage in existence prior to the damage or destruction.

Once repaired or rebuilt and deemed substantially complete, the dwelling will be assessed as if the damage or destruction had not occurred.

Changes, additions or improvements that exceed 110 percent of the original square footage prior to the calamity or that exceed the 1500 square foot limitation will be assessed at Just Value for those portions that exceed those thresholds.

Important: Changes, additions or improvements must commence within three (3) years after January 1, following the damage or destruction of the homestead.

Refund of Taxes

When a calamity occurs on residential improvements that are rendered uninhabitable for at least 30 days, the property owner may request a refund of taxes for the portion of the year in which the home was deemed uninhabitable. This does not include damage caused, directly or indirectly, by the property owner with the intent to damage or destroy the residential improvement and does not include structures that are not essential (Ex: detached garage, pool, or land) to the use and occupancy of the residential dwelling.

An application needs to be filed with the Property Appraiser by March 1 of the year following the event. The Property Appraiser may request additional supporting documentation to determine whether the applicant is entitled to a refund. If entitled, the Property Appraiser must issue an official written statement to the Tax Collector within 30 days after the determination, but no later than April 1. The Tax Collector shall calculate the damage differential pursuant to (Florida Statute 197.319) and process a refund in an amount equal to the catastrophic event refund. 

To learn more, please watch this educational video

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