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What is a homestead exemption?

  • By:Neil Lyons

If you’re new to Florida, you may be hearing a lot about a “homestead exemption,” and how it can save you money on your annual real property taxes. 

How does a homestead exemption work?

In Florida, applying for a homestead exemption can provide a tax exemption of up to $50,000 per year. 

The first $25,000 of the assessed value of your primary residence is exempt from taxes. (This means it is not counted for the purposes of calculating your real property tax liability.) That initial $25,000 exemption applies to all property taxes.  

There is an additional exemption that applies to the assessed value of your home between $50,000 and $75,000.  The assessed value of your primary residence between $50,000 and $75,000 is exempt from all non-school taxes. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say the assessed value of your home is $85,000 (not the fair market value, but the value of your home as assessed for the purposes of calculating your annual real property tax liability). The first $25,000 of that assessed value is exempt from all property tax. The next $25,000 of the value is taxable. Then the third $25,000 of value is exempt from non-school taxes, and the remaining $10,000 is taxable. 

The requirements for applying for these tax exemptions

There are three main requirements to qualify for homestead exemption. The individual filing: 

  1. Must own and occupy the home as your permanent residence prior to January 1 of the year for which you are applying; 
  2. Must be a US Citizen or permanent US Resident and a Florida resident as of January 1 of the year in which you are applying; 
  3. Cannot be claiming or receiving any type of tax exemption on any other property in the United State.  

Additionally, you’ll need to complete a Homestead Exemption filing prior to March 1 of the year in which you are seeking the exemption. 

For Sarasota County, you can complete a Homestead Exemption E-filing here: https://www.sc-pa.com/applyonline/WebForm1.aspx 

For Manatee County, you can apply here: https://ofa.manateepao.com/ApplyOnline/WebForm1.aspx

Attorney Neil T. Lyons pursued a career in law for the sole purpose of helping people. His practice focuses on the area of elder law, including estate planning, trust and probate administration and guardianship. His early legal experience solidified his commitment to assisting, whenever possible, two very vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. He receives repeated recognition by various organizations for his pro bono efforts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Neil also consistently engages in service to the legal community and joined the Luhrsen Goldberg staff in 2019.

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