All legal Florida residents are eligible
for Homestead Exemption on their homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain
mobile home lots if they qualify. The Florida Constitution provides this tax-saving
exemption on the first $25,000 of the assessed value of an owner/occupied residence.
are entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st you have made the
property your permanent home or the permanent home of a person who is legally
or naturally dependent on you.
The concept of homestead
is as old as the State of Florida. There are only a few states with homestead
exemptions. Florida is considered one of the most generous.
are 2 types of homestead exemptions available to property owners in Florida: (a)
homestead exemption for real property tax purposes and (b) homestead exemption
for asset protection purposes. The fact that you have one type of exemption does
not necessarily mean that you have the other type of exemption as each exemption
has distinct requirements.
(a) Specifically, the
homestead exemption for real property tax purposes provides an owner of property
with a $25,000.00 reduction from the assessed value of the property thereby currently
reducing the amount of real property taxes by approximately $600 to $800 each
year. Since real property taxes are paid in arrears in Florida (just like interest
on your mortgage), this type of homestead exemption is only available if the owner
is the permanent resident of residential property as of December 31 of the prior
year and owner makes application for the exemption at the property appraiser's
office on or before March 1 of the following year. If you are widowed or permanently
disabled, you may be entitled to an additional reduction from the assessed value
of the property.
(b) The homestead exemption
for asset protection purposes provides the owner of property with a shield from
virtually all non-lien creditors. This type of homestead exemption is only available
if the property is your primary residence and a court makes a determination that
the property is within a municipality or outside of a municipality. If your property
is within a municipality, protection is provided for only one half acre of contiguous
land. If your property is outside of a municipality, protection is provided for
160 acres of contiguous land.
January 1st is the date on which permanent
residence is determined.
widowers and permanently disabled persons are entitled to additional tax-saving
exemptions. For these exemptions, you will need to bring with you at time of filing:
Widows/Widower's Exemption: Spouse's death certificate, newspaper clipping
or memorial card.
Disability Exemption: Letter from Veterans Administration
(VA card). Medical Disability or Legally Blind need letters from two (2) professionally
unrelated Florida doctors.
must make a timely first application
You can now
file for Homestead Exemption all year around.
are two filing periods.
Pre-Filing for the following
year (for New Owners this year)
. . .
2, to December 31.
Traditional Filing Period - January
1st thru March 1st. . . The amount of the homestead exemption granted to an owner
residing on a particular property is to be applied against the amount of that
person's interest in the property. This provision is limited in that the proportional
amount of the homestead exemption allowed any person shall not exceed the proportionate
assessed valuation based on the interest owned by the person. For example, assuming
a property valued at $40,000, with the residing owner's interest in the property
being $20,000, then $20,000 of the homestead exemption is all that can be applied
to that property. If there are multiple owners, all as joint tenants with rights
of survivorship, the owner living at property filing receives the full $25,000
Exemption does not transfer from property to property. If you had this exemption
last year on another property and moved, you must file a new application for your
new residence. Notify the Property Appraiser to cancel the exemptions on your
former home. Property purchased during last year may show qualified exemptions
of the seller. The sellers' exemptions will not carry over to this year; you must
apply for your own exemptions!
owners occupying the property must file in person on jointly held property. Husband
and wife may file for each other, with the required documents for both. Bring
the following items dated prior to January 1, when filing an application.
Recorded Quit Claim or Warranty Deed
Co-op Proprietary Lease (Condos)
Notice of Proposed Taxes or Tax Receipts,
if in your name(s)
Proof of Permanent Residence, Dated Prior to January 1st
All of these items should be issued before January 1, 2000:
If you possess
an out-of-state driver's license, you must change it to a Florida Driver's License
If you own a vehicle, you must have a Florida Vehicle Registration
of the United States must possess a Florida Voters Registration or a Declaration
Resident aliens possessing a Green or Pink Card must obtain a
Declaration of Domicile
Non-residents are not eligible to apply for the Homestead
Note: it is generally against the law for a Florida resident to
drive in Florida with an out-of-state license or tag if he/she claims Homestead
Exemption (Sections 320.37 and 322.08 Fla. Statutes).
. . . and be prepared
The State mandated application form requires
certain information For All Owners Living On The Premises and Filing:
employers of all owners
Addresses listed on last I.R.S. income tax returns
Copy of last tax bill, recorded warranty or quit claim deed for the parcel
Date of each owner's permanent Florida residence. Date of occupancy for each
Social security numbers of all owners filing are required
for this year, after your initial application for last year has been made and
exemption has been granted, a receipt will be mailed to you each January 1st for
verification that the status and condition of the ownership has not changed in
any manner whatsoever.
If you do not receive this
renewal receipt from us by March 1, failure to contact this office could result
in the loss of your Homestead Exemption for the year.
new application will be required if your property has been sold or otherwise disposed
of, or the ownership changes in any manner or when the holder(s) of the homestead
exemption ceases to reside on the property as a permanent resident.
annual Homestead Receipt renewal does not pertain to any of the other exemptions
and/or classifications such as properties used for exempt purposes or agricultural
If you no longer qualify - The law
requires you to notify the Property Appraiser's office to remove that exemption
by March 1, 2000. Strong penalties are imposed on those who do not tell the Property
Appraiser to remove exemptions for which they are no longer qualified. For example,
if you have rented your property, you are no longer entitled to Homestead Exemption.
Or, if you were receiving a widow's or widower's exemption and remarry, you would
no longer be entitled to that exemption.
Center - Main
115 South Andrews Avenue Room 111-F
Broward - Branch
100 North Pine Island Room 120
- South Broward - Branch
Boulevard Room 110
Broward - Branch
1600 West Hillsboro Boulevard Room 156
- Southwest Broward -
10221 Taft Street Building 1
Pembroke Pines 954.437.2670
The Truth in Millage (TRIM)
Notice is an important notice. It tells you last year's market value, this years
market value as of January 1, and this years assessed value. The market value
column is our office's opinion of what a willing buyer would have paid a willing
seller for your property as of last January 1.
By the 1992 Amendment to the Florida Constitution, the assessed value of your
Homestead property can be no greater than 3% more than last year's assessed value
or the consumer price index, whichever is less. The Department of Revenue certifies
a consumer price index, so that is the most the assessment of Homestead property
To give you an example: if your Homestead
property was assessed at $50,000 last year, and its market value has increased
to $75,000, your maximum assessment is $51,500.
only way your assessment can increase more than this is if there was a change
in ownership, or improvements to your property were not reflected in last year's
If the market value of your property
declined since last year, this year's assessed value will reflect that decline
in the market. Next year, however, your assessed value will continue to increase
by 3% or the consumer price index, whichever is less, as long as assessed value
is less than market value.
If the property shown
on the trim notice is not your Homestead, then the columns for "market value"
and "Assessed value" will be the same. If the property has a classified
use value, such as for agriculture, the assessed value column is its classified
use value. Even if the market value shown is higher than your estimate of your
property's market value as of January 1, your tax bill for Homestead property
will still be based on the consumer price index increase over last year's assessed
value. If you do not do anything, your November tax bill will be based on the
figure shown in the assessed value box.
All the exemptions
to which your property is entitled are shown in the box marked "Exemptions."
If you bought property during the last calendar year, and your seller qualified
for exemptions, the exemptions shown are those for which your seller qualified.
These exemptions will be removed for next year unless you personally apply for
your own exemptions. If you applied for exemptions and none are shown in the "Exemptions"
box, you should contact the Property Appraiser's office at once and find out whether
there is a problem with your exemptions.
pay taxes county wide to the Broward County Commission and School Board. Other
taxing jurisdictions that are less than county wide are the Cities and Towns,
Hospital, Water and Special Tax Districts. All of these taxing bodies must hold
public hearings before setting their rates. The dates, times and places of these
hearings are shown in the fourth column of your TRIM notice, along with telephone
numbers you can call for further information about the taxing bodies' proposed
rates. In addition, some non-ad valorem levies are shown on your tax bill but
not on your TRIM notice. These are called non ad valorem levies since the amount
of the levy does not depend on the value of your property.
PROPERTY APPRAISER'S OFFICE IS RESPONSIBLE ONLY FOR THE MARKET VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY.
By the Florida Constitution and Statutes, this is the amount of a willing buyer
who did not have to buy your property would pay to a willing seller who did not
have to sell as of last January 1.
The Broward County Value Adjustment
Board is composed of three members of the Broward County Commission and two members
of the School Board. This Board sits to hear petitions relating to the market
value of your property and denials of exemptions and classifications. The Board
is completely independent of the Property Appraiser's office.
you feel your taxes are too high, the Value Adjustment Board cannot help you.
You need to attend the meetings of those officials who set the budgets for the
If you believe the market value as
shown in the box "Your Property Value This Year" is higher than the
market value of your property as of January 1, we encourage you to contact our
main office. Please bring your TRIM notice with you when you come. One of our
Deputy Property Appraisers will meet with you and discuss your market value and
how it was calculated. After this conference, if you still feel your market value
is too high, you can file a petition with the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board.
Forms for that purpose, as prescribed by the State Department of Revenue, are
available in the Property Appraiser's main office in the Government Center, Room
111-F, along with free professional assistance in filling out the forms. The Board
has established a $15. filing fee, which is refunded if you obtain relief from
the Value Adjustment Board or the Property Appraiser's Office after you file your
petition. The Value Adjustment Board appoints Special Masters who are qualified,
professionally designated real estate appraisers or attorneys to conduct the hearings.
These Special Masters are not connected with the Property Appraiser's office in
any way. The only question the Special Masters can determine is whether the market
value of your property as shown on your TRIM notice is higher than the property's
market value as of last January 1.
You must fill
in the petition completely, with all questions answered, or it might be rejected
by the Clerk of the Board. Be sure you read the information on the reverse of
the form. The Petition is filed with the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board,
Room 120A in the Goverment Center in Fort Lauderdale, 115 South Andrews Avenue.
The Clerk's telephone number is 954.357.7292
close attention to the deadline for filing a petition printed on the TRIM notice.
THE BOARD CANNOT ACCEPT PETITIONS FILED AFTER THAT DEADLINE
.NATALIA ARIAS - Lic. Real Estate Broker.
9594 Nw 41St. Street #103 - Doral, FL 33178
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
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