Homestead Exemption

 

Homestead Exemption

If you live in the state of Florida and you own a home that is your primary residence, you qualify for an exemption of up to $50,000. Homestead exemptions are not automatically applied to your property. One of the homeowner’s listed on the deed must apply for the Florida Homestead Exemption. You must reside in the home on January 1 of the year you plan to file for homestead. On time filing is January 1 to March 1. The deadline for filing late is set by law, on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM). This date usually falls in early September. You may call or e-mail the Property Appraiser to confirm the deadline date. 904-630-2020, pacustserv@coj.net. For filing period information, CLICK HERE.

If you are filing Homestead Exemption for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions:
1. In whose name or names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1?
2. What is the street address of the property?
3. How long have you been a legal resident of the State of Florida? (A Declaration of Domicile or Voter’s Registration will be proof of date before January 1.)
4. Do you have a Florida license plate on your car and a Florida driver’s license?
5. Were you living in the dwelling on January 1?

To apply for Homestead Exemption, you can visit the Property Appraisers Office. Hours and directions can be found byCLICKING HERE.

For a copy of the Duval County homestead application requirements and information to file by mail, fax or email, CLICK HERE.

The original Homestead Exemption Amendment was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 1933 in response to the many homeowners who found themselves at great risk of losing their homes for failure to pay their property taxes during The Great Depression. The original Homestead Exemption provided a $5,000 deduction to the homeowner’s taxable value before property taxes were calculated. The $5,000 exemption was increased to $10,000 during the 1960s and $25,000 in 1980. On January 29, 2008 voters approved the exemption to be increased to $50,000. The additional $25,000 does not apply to school taxes. For example if your assessed value is $100,000 your taxable value would be reduced to $75,000 for school district taxes and $50,000 for non-school property taxes.

In 1995 The Florida “Save our Homes law placed a cap on the amount your home’s assessed value can increase annually, either 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. This allows long term homeowners with a fixed income the ability to afford to stay in their homes and avoid unaffordable property tax increases as property values increase. If you own your home for a long period of time the assessed value of your home may be lower then the market value of your home. This cap does not apply to the millage rate, which is the tax rate used to calculate your property tax. In addition, the cap is removed the year the property is sold and a new market value and assessed value is established. The new homeowner must apply for the homestead exemption and the 3% cap will be applied to the assessed value for future years. Many Floridians felt trapped in their home, unable to afford the new assessed value of a new purchase. Now, if the new owner has portability, the assessed value may be reduced.

In January 2008, voters supported the “Save Our Homes” amendment allowing homeowners to transfer the savings you have earned on a current homestead to reduce the value of a new homestead property. If you did not file for homestead exemption on your prior home within one of the last two years, portability cannot be applied to your new home. Portability lets homeowners apply up to $500,000 of the difference between the assessed value and market value of your old homestead property to reduce the assessed value of your new homestead property. To learn more about portability, CLICK HERE.

Additionally, Duval County offers senior citizens an extra exemption of $25,000 if they meet certain qualifications. To see how to qualify for Additional Homestead Exemption for Persons 65 and Older, CLICK HERE.

To estimate your property tax, use the Duval County Property appraisers calculator, CLICK HERE.