HOW DO I SAVE MONEY ON MY PROPERTY TAXES?
When you move to Florida and purchase a home as your primary residence, you can file what is called Homestead on that property. One of the great benefits of owning a home in Florida is being able to file for Homestead and therefore save money on your property taxes each year.
Here are the basics:
1. Homestead Exemptions
As a homeowner you receive a $50,000 standard homestead exemption off the assessed value. Additionally, there are two dozen other exemptions also available to home owners. There are exemptions for deployed servicepersons, disabled veterans, people who built granny flats onto their homes, homeowners who suffered damage from a storm or other catastrophe, senior citizens … the list goes on. There is a “Super Senior Long Term Exemption” that completely exempts some senior citizens who have lived in their homes for more than 25 years from having to pay any property taxes at all. Check with your county property appraisal office for a list of these exemptions.
2. The Save Our Homes Act
Homestead properties in Florida will not see an increase of more than 3% a year or CPI (whichever is less) in their taxable value no matter how much the market value of the home increases. This is why someone who has lived in a home in Florida for a long time will have a tax bill far lower than the market value of their home would otherwise dictate.
The difference in the assessed value of a home (what we base the taxes on) and the market value of a home (what it would sell for in a free and open market) is what we call portability. Portability went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008, and has become important given the decade-long runup in Florida property values. Before portability came along, some homeowners wouldn’t consider a move because they didn’t want to lose their low tax bills. With portability, they can take the savings with them, up to a maximum of $500,000. Given that Florida has around a 2% average tax rate, that means a homeowner with $500,000 in portability will see a tax bill about $10,000 a year lower than it would be without it.
-Information provide by Florida Association of Realtors