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Frequently Asked Questions - Portability

What is Portability?

Since 1995, when a property begins receiving a Homestead Exemption the assessed value on the tax roll cannot increase more than 3% or the CPI, whichever less. When market values increase at a greater rate, this limitation on the assessed value creates a difference in the assessed and market values of a property known as the Homestead Assessment Difference. This “Cap” on the assessed value saves property owners from large increases in property taxes on their Homesteaded property.

While this Cap benefit saved property owners thousands of dollars in taxes on their Homesteaded property they lost this benefit if they bought a new home. Through the introduction of Amendment 1 on January 29, 2008, Florida voters amended the State constitution to provide for transfer of a Homestead Assessment Difference from one property to another. This benefit first became available in 2008. It may be transferred to any property in Florida and is commonly referred to as “PORTABILITY.”

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When did Portability go into effect?

Portability went into effect in 2008.

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Is my port amount limited?

Port is limited to a person’s ownership share and cannot exceed $500,000.

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How do I get my portability?

First, apply for Homestead using form DR-501 and then file form DR- 501T for the Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference (AKA Portability).

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How long do I have to apply for Port?

You have up to two years to transfer the previous assessment difference to a new homesteaded property. The applicant must qualify for the homestead exemption on the new property within two assessment years (Two January 1s) of abandoning the homestead exemption on the previous property. For example: the previous homestead exemption is abandoned March 2014, the applicant must qualify for the new homestead exemption by January 1 of 2016. 

If the applicant qualifies but does not apply within two years he/she may apply at a future date. However, the assessment difference will be applied in the year it is approved and the property taxes will not be subject to refunds for previous years. Section 193.155 (8)(k), Florida Statues.

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Do I have to sell my property before I can qualify for portability?

No. However, all the recipients of the homestead exemption must abandon the previous homestead exemption before the assessment limit is ported.

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Can I port to the same property I currently live in?

Yes. A person may abandon their homestead, even if it remains their primary residence. Per Section 193.155 (8)(g), Florida Statues,  you must notify the Property Appraiser of the county where the Homestead is located in writing by March 1st and then file a new Homestead and Portability application.

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If I had homestead exemption with other persons at my previous property can I Port my assessment difference?

Yes. However, all recipients of the homestead exemption of the previous property must abandon the previous homestead before the assessment limitation can be ported and the portability is distributed according to the ownership share of the previous property.

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What happens if I get divorced?

Both husband and wife must abandon the previous homestead before the assessment limitation can be ported.   Also, Florida law allows a husband and wife to assign their port differences over to each other using form DR-501TS.

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What happens when two people who previously owned separate homestead properties move in together and establish a new homestead?

The highest assessment limitation differential from either of the prior homesteads is eligible to transfer, subject to $500,000 max and downsizing provisions. 

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Can I take my port outside Miami-Dade County?

Yes, you can port to any county within the state of Florida (same rules of upsize, downsize, split, and combine apply).

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