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Frequently Asked Questions - Exemptions

What is the deadline to file for exemptions?

All exemption applications and classification applications such as Agriculture are due by March 1st.

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What are the qualifications for Homestead Exemption?

To qualify for a Homestead Exemption, you must own the property and it must be your permanent residence "to the exclusion of all others" as of January 1st of the year you are seeking the homestead exemption.

More information available in the Property Tax Exemption Requirements Guide. Adobe Reader 

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What documents do I need to file for a Homestead Exemption?

See exemption filing documents at: English Adobe Reader Spanish Adobe Reader Creole Adobe Reader

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Do I need to re-apply for my Homestead Exemption every year?

No, you do not. The Property Appraiser mails out in January an “Automatic Residential Renewal Receipt” to every homesteaded property owner.  If you do not have any changes, you can keep the receipt as proof that you are eligible for the automatic renewal.  However, the homeowner has a responsibility under the law to notify the Property Appraiser if the ownership status of the property has changed or if it is no longer the permanent residence of the owner.

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How is the $50,000 Homestead Exemption calculated?

The first $25,000 homestead applies to all taxing authorities. The second $25,000 does not apply to the School Board portion of taxes. Also, this second $25,000 applies only to properties with assessed values greater than $50,000.

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How much will I save with a Homestead Exemption?

Depending on the value and location of the property, and the millage rates set by the relevant taxing authorities, the homestead exemption can save you about $800.00 in taxes.

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Can I rent my home and still keep the homestead exemption on it?

Rental of all, or substantially all, of a home constitutes abandonment of the homestead exemption if the property is rented for more than 30 days for two consecutive calendar years.  Please note that only those portions of the property owned and used as the homestead are eligible for the homestead exemption and Save Our Homes assessment limitation (Ref. Sections 196.012 and 193.155, Florida Statutes). 

Also, active military personnel can retain the homestead exemption even when the property is rented.  In order to keep your exemption intact, please provide the Property Appraiser with a copy of your military orders.  See Section 196.061, F.S.

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Will I lose my homestead exemption and Save Our Homes assessment limitation if:

  • I put my home in a life estate for me with a remainder to my children?
    No.  Both your Homestead Exemption and any existing Save Our Home value will remain intact if you transfer a future interest to your children and retain a life estate for yourself.
    Please note that upon your death, any exemptions you may have obtained will expire and the property will be reassessed the following year.  Any persons as remainder heirs would need to apply for and qualify for a new homestead exemption in order to receive the benefit of the exemption
  • I put my home in a trust?
    No.  Both your Homestead Exemption and any existing Save Our Home value will remain intact if, after placing the property in a trust, you are entitled to the use and occupancy of such property under the terms of the trust.
    Once your property is placed in a trust, please submit to the Property Appraiser’s Office a copy of the trust so that we may ensure you remain qualified to receive the benefit of the Homestead Exemption. (Ref. 196.041, F.S.)
  • I give title to my spouse?
    No.  Both your Homestead Exemption and any existing Save Our Home value will remain intact if title is changed or transferred between you and your spouse, including a change or transfer to a surviving spouse or a transfer due to a dissolution of marriage.
  • I add someone to the title on my property?
    No.  Both your Homestead Exemption and any existing Save Our Home value will remain intact as long as you remain on title and the person who is added to title does not apply for a Homestead Exemption.
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What are the qualifications for the Senior Exemption?

  • Applicant must have homestead exemption
  • Be 65 or older as of January 1
  • And the Adjusted Gross Income for all persons living in the house (even those not an owner) must be less than statutory limits

Applications DR-501SC are due by March 1st.

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What is a Granny Flat exemption and how do I claim it?

This benefit allows a homeowner who adds living quarters to their home for a parent or grandparent, to exempt the cost of that new construction from the assessed value of a home. To qualify, the parent or grandparent must be 62 or older as of January 1 in the year the assessment is being done, and it must be their permanent home. Only construction completed after January 7, 2003 qualifies for the reduction. See more information on Granny Flat Assessment Reductions.

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What are the qualifications for the widow/widower exemption?

The widow or widower must be an un-remarried spouse as of January 1.

To claim the widow/widower exemption you must file a DR-501 Adobe Reader application by March 1st.

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What are the qualifications for a veteran disability exemption?

There are three types of veteran disability exemptions available:

  • $5,000 veteran disability exemption
    • Have a homestead exemption
    • Have a 'service connected disability' of at least 10% (VA Letter 27-125)
  • Total & Permanent veteran disability exemption
    • Have homestead exemption
    • Have a 'Total & Permanent Service Connected Disability' (VA Letter 27-333)
  • Combat disabled veterans
    • Have homestead exemption
    • Have a Combat related disability
    • Be 65 or older as of January 1
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What are the qualifications for the $500 civilian disability exemption?

Persons with any type of permanent disability qualify for this exemption. To apply, the applicant must complete the DR-501 PDF form and one of the following doctor certificates completed by a Florida physician:

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What are the qualifications for the $500 blind disability exemption?

A homeowner with a homestead exemption, who is certified as legally blind, can qualify for a $500 Blind Person's Exemption. To apply, the applicant must complete the DR-501. The legal blindness standard is:
"Central vision acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or a disqualifying field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees."
This condition needs to be certified by a physician licensed to practice in Florida.

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What are the qualifications for the Civilian Total & Permanent Disability Exemption (paraplegic, hemiplegic, permanently confined to a wheelchair for mobility)?

A Florida resident who has been certified by two Florida licensed physicians, as being paraplegic, hemiplegic, legally blind or who uses a wheelchair for mobility, can qualify to have his/her homesteaded residence exempted from ad valorem taxes.

Applicants for the Civilian Total and Permanent Disability Exemption must meet income guidelines. The gross income of all the persons residing in the home in the year prior to application must not exceed statutory limits. These income limits are outlined in the law.

To apply, the applicant must complete the DR-501 Adobe Reader and two Florida physicians who are not professionally affiliated, must complete one of the following certificates:

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What are the qualifications for the Quadriplegic Exemption?

A Florida resident who has been certified by two Florida licensed physicians (they must not have a professional relationship) as quadriplegic, can qualify to have his/her homesteaded residence exempted from ad valorem taxes.

To apply, the applicant must complete DR-501 Adobe Reader and two non-professionally related Florida doctors must complete either of the following certificates:

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My market value went down so why did my property value go up on my TRIM Notice?

This is likely due to the Recapture Rule.  The "recapture rule,” as prescribed by Florida Law, may cause some taxable values to rise even when the overall market value went down from the previous year.  Since 1994, Amendment 10, generally known as the "Save Our Homes" amendment, has limited increases in the assessed value of properties with a Homestead Exemption, to 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. As market values increased, the assessed value was limited to a maximum increase of 3%.

However, that same law requires that as long as the assessed value of a home is lower than the market value, even if the market value has gone down, the Property Appraiser must increase the assessed value by 3% or the CPI.

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If you cannot view PDF Get Acrobat! files, you can download Acrobat Reader  for free from Adobe Systems, Inc. In order to use PDF files, you must have Acrobat installed on your computer.

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