If you purchased a new home in 2019 and that property is your permanent residence as of January 1, 2020, there are property tax benefits that may be available to you. Under Florida law, you may be eligible for property tax exemption benefits, which include the Homestead exemption, Widows/Widowers exemption, Disability exemption, Transfer of Assessment Differential also known as Portability, and other additional exemptions depending on your local property appraiser.
What is the Homestead Exemption?
Under Florida law, a person who owns real property in Florida on January 1; makes the property his or her permanent residence or the permanent residence of a legal or natural dependent; and files a homestead exemption application with their local property appraiser may receive a property tax exemption up to $50,000. Once you file the homestead exemption application, your local property appraiser will determine whether you are eligible for the exemption.
Is the Homestead Exemption Automatically Added to my Property Taxes?
Property tax exemption benefits are not automatic and require all new owners to file an application. In Miami-Dade County, the 2020 Homestead Exemption applications and Portability applications are due on March 2nd. Additionally, you can apply online or using a paper form. However, you do not need to re-apply for the Homestead Exemption every year.
In Miami-Dade, once a property receives the homestead exemption status, the Property Appraiser mails out an “Automatic Residential Renewal Receipt” to the homestead property owner the following years. If the property owner does not have any changes, they are eligible for automatic renewal of their homestead exemption. However, the ownership status of the property must not have changed, and the property must still be the permanent residence of the owner.
What is Save Our Homes (SOH)?
Beginning the year after you receive the homestead exemption, the assessment on your home cannot increase by more than the lesser of the change in the Consumer Price Index or 3 percent each year. Additionally, if you have moved from one Florida homestead to another within the last two years, you may be eligible to take some of your SOH savings with you and receive additional tax savings at your new property.
Are there Additional Benefits Available for Qualified Homestead Properties?
Additional tax exemption benefits may be available for your homestead property in addition to the homestead exemption. Senior citizens (age 65 or older), widows/widowers, and disabled persons may qualify for additional benefits. See your property appraiser for more information and to determine your eligibility for an additional exemption.