This message is for those of you who purchased a home during 2008 that will be your permanent (homestead) residence or for those who have now decided to live in their vacation homes on a permanent basis and are no longer declaring a home in some other place as their homesteaded residence.
Last winter (2008) the property tax laws changed here in Florida. Now there is up to an extra $25,000 exemption for homesteaded properties valued at $50,000 or more. This may not apply to the assessment used for school taxes. We also got portability for our Save Our Homes savings. Now if we buy a new home the lower assessment on our old home can be used to lower the assessment on the home we are buying. Other changes in the law also took place as well.
Do be aware that homeowners who plan to make their homes their permanent residences, or in other words, their homesteads, should apply for the exemptions just has they have in the past. That means that they must close on the purchase of their next home and occupy it before the end of 2008. Then they need to file for their exemption(s) by March 1, 2009. You need to check with your local property appraiser to see what ALL of the requirements are. Having a Florida drivers license and car registration are just a couple of them. Your appraiser can give you the complete rundown.
Whatever exemptions you qualify for will apply to those persons who requested and got their homestead exemption. Your declaration of homestead should ensure that you get the advantage of those new benefits too. But again, I suggest strongly that if you have any doubts at all, you should contact your local county property appraiser before the end of 2008! The appraisers are the experts in these matters and can answer all of your particular questions.
The main thing is to be sure you apply in time. If you meet the legal requirements, you have nothing to lose by declaring your homestead with the county. If you do not, you could be making a very costly mistake.
If you go to my website you will also find a menu button for our local county Property Appraisers. To get there just click on the following link: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com If you find your county listed, just click on the link that will give you a list of all of the counties that exist in Florida. All of the sites will have information concerning Homestead Exemptions and also contact numbers if you wish to speak with someone in the appraiser's office. I am sure they will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I have always found them to be very helpful. If you like, you can click on the following link to download a brochure in Adobe PDF format that is currently on our Pasco County site. Your own county may also have similar documents. Click here: Download HomesteadExemptionPascoCounty
If your county is not listed, I have included a link that will display all of the hyperlinks for all of the counties in the State of Florida. By clicking on your county's name you should be able to find your appraiser's site very easily.
So if you believe you will be closing and occupying a home that will be your primary residence here in Florida, I suggest that you start making some calls now so you can be sure that everything is done correctly and you get all of the exemptions that you deserve!
For more information or questions about this topic you can call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida