Sunday, February 03, 2008

Updating information about Florida property taxes after Jan.29 amendment approval.

On January 29, 2008, a constitutional amendment was approved by Florida voters.

It changed substantially the structure of the homestead and “save-our-home” exemptions. Here is where we stand now:

Homestead exemption.

For Florida residents who have filed for this exemption.

- $ 25,000 basic exemption

- Additional $ 25,000 for all homes assessed at $ 75,000 or more. This additional exemption does not apply on the school portion of the tax bill. (about 36%)

- Additional $ 25,000 Senior Citizen exemption. Must be at least 65 years old, and their total household income does not exceed $ 24,214 (amount yearly adjusted for inflation).

This exemption must be renewed annually, including IRS tax return or proof of non-filing.

- Additional $ 500 Widow/widower exemption. Not eligible if remarried.

- Additional $ 500 Disability/Blindness exemption.

- Additional $ 5,000 Veteran Disability exemption. Higher if combat disabled veteran.

- Full Exemption for Veteran service-connected total and permanent disability.

- Full Exemption for totally and permanently disabled persons. Subject to yearly income not exceeding $ 23,604 (adjustable for inflation)

- “Grammy Flat” exemption. When building additions to provide living quarters for parents or grandparents, exemption for the amount of the new construction, up to 20% of the homestead value.

Business Equipment Exemption

A new $ 25,000 exemption. Currently all businesses are subject to an annual tax on tangible property. Small businesses with less than $ 25,000 in tangible property, are not required to file anymore tangible property tax returns.


This amendment, approved in 1992 limits the increase of assessed values of homesteaded homes to 3% per year.

Portability of Save-our-homes.

Homesteaded owners can move this benefit from one homesteaded home to another, up to $ 500,000. To be eligible, the new property should be purchased within two years of abandoning the Homestead of the previous home. This portability can be used an unlimited amount of times. One way to calculate this is to calculate 85% of the new home purchase price, then divide that number by the 2007 “just value” of your current home. Multiply that amount by your present "save-our-homes" value and the final result will be your estimated new Save our Home value. (this is only an approximate calculation). Another way to explain is: The difference between the "just value" of your home and the "save-our-homes" assessed value can be transferred as a reduction to your new home assessed value, up to $ 500,000. We anticipate some confusion to be clarified by Florida Department of Revenue advisory opinions.

All other properties

that do not have the homestead protection, such as commercial real estate, rental properties, second homes, investment properties have a new protection. Their taxable value cannot increase more than 10% per year. This cap does not apply to the school portion of the tax bill.

Henry B. Nathan is a licensed real estate agent and mortgage broker in the state of Florida.
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