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Here is a great place to learn about local homestead exemption rules and regulations.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

If the home owner qualifies, Florida’s constitution provides for a $25,000 exemption, which is deducted from a property’s assessed value for taxation purposes. Applicants who file by March 1, possess title to the real property, and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home as of January 1, likely qualify for the exemption. Properties granted Homestead Exemption also automatically receive the “Save Our Homes”, Amendment 10, benefit.

Homestead Exemption Application can be made online or by mail.

Additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption
All persons receiving the standard homestead exemption who continue to qualify for that exemption automatically qualify to receive the additional homestead exemption. No further application is necessary. The additional $25,000 exemption applies to taxable values greater than $50,000 and up to $75,000, for all tax levies except school district levies.

Save Our Homes
“Save Our Homes” limits any increase in assessed value of properties with the Homestead Exemption to 3%, or the Consumer Price Index change, whichever is less, in the second consecutive year the exemption is received. Exceptions to that limitation include new additions or construction. Another exception occurs when ownership of a homestead property is changed in any way, affecting the homestead. Assessed value then returns to fair market (just) value in the year following the change.

Save Our Homes Portability
Every Florida resident receiving homestead exemption in Florida who gives up that homestead and wishes to transfer a Save Our Home assessment difference from the previous homestead, must re-establish a homestead exemption within two (2) years of January 1 of the year in which the person left the prior homestead. In addition, Form DR501T must be completed and submitted to the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located. The deadline due date for this form and new applications is March 1.

Any person who knowingly and willfully gives false information for the purpose of claiming homestead exemption is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. 196.131, F.S.

Who is eligible for the Homestead Exemption?
Every person who holds legal or equitable title to real property, maintains it as his/her permanent residence, and is a legal resident of Florida as of January 1, of any year, can qualify for the exemption for that year.

How Do I Qualify For Homestead, Widow’s, Widower’s, Or Disability Exemption?
You must have legal or equitable title to the property and permanently reside thereon as of January 1. You should bring your deed, or instrument conveying title to the land, when filing for the exemption. Section 196.031(1), F.S., requires that the deed or instrument be recorded in Charlotte County’s official records before a homestead exemption may be granted. Section 196.011(1)(b), F.S., requires applicants and their spouses, if any, to provide their social security numbers.
You must be a legal, permanent resident of Florida as of January 1 in order to qualify for a personal exemption.

Suggestions for proof of legal residence:
1 Voter registration or, if not a United States Citizen or you do not wish to register to vote, a Declaration of Domicile.
2 Declaration of Domicile filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. (There is a nominal charge for recording.)
3 Florida driver’s license (a “Valid in Florida Only” license is not acceptable).
4 Florida vehicle registration for all vehicles.
5 If property is owned by both husband and wife, Florida residency information should be provided for both.

Additional information necessary to qualify for exemptions:
1 If not a U.S. citizen, a resident alien, “green” card. (Copy front and back)
2 If property is held in trust, a copy of the trust agreement or an “Affidavit As To Terms of Trust” as it applies to the homestead property.
3 If residence is a mobile home, the real property decal number and a copy of the mobile home’s registration or title.
4 Social Security numbers for applicants. If married, you must also provide spouse’s social security number.
5 Your most recent paid tax bill with parcel identification number or recorded deed or recorded contract for deed.

While we are providing you this information as a general resource, we are not experts in this field, and we advise that you consult your local Property Appraiser to ensure you receive all the exemptions for which you qualify and to find out where, when, and how to apply.  Here are links to our Local County Property Appraiser websites:  Sarasota County Property Appraiser; Charlotte County Property Appraiser.