Florida Homestead Exemption

Once you establish your Florida residency you can take full advantage of Florida’s sunny tax climate and advantageous asset protection laws. Florida residents do not pay state income tax and there is no state estate tax. Florida homestead law also provides real estate tax breaks, capped rate increases in tax assessed values, the portability of capped tax assessments, and even protection from creditors.

Is Florida Going to be Your Primary Residence? 

Once you have established Florida as your domicile, or primary residence, now is the time to consider the Florida Homestead Exemption and the great benefits it offers to Florida residents. Is so, don't miss out on huge tax savings! If you qualify for homestead exemption you are entitled to a deduction of $25,000 off of your property's assessed value.  This can result in saving several hundred dollars in taxes!  If your home is worth at least $75,000 you will receive an additional $25,000 deduction on your property's assessed value.  You may also qualify for additional homestead exemptions if you are 65 years or older or have a disability.  But most importantly, by filing for homestead exemption, this means that the assessed value of your property cannot increase more than 3% per year.  This tax savings can now be transferred to a new Florida residence in case you move. For more details about homestead exemption, please visit your county's property appraiser's website.

First and foremost, to be entitled to receive Florida Homestead Tax Exemption benefits, the following two deadlines must be met:

A.) Must be a Florida resident and own/occupy the property as your permanent residence on or before January 1st of the year in which you wish to claim homestead exemption; and

B.) The Florida Homestead application must be received by the local Property Appraiser’s office by March 1st.

Applications for the Florida Homestead Exemption can be found at your local Property Appraiser office or on their website.  For our local readers, the following link will direct you to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s online homestead exemption application: https://www.sc-pa.com/exemptions/homestead/apply-online/, and the following link will direct you to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s online homestead exemption application:

https://ofa.manateepao.com/ApplyOnline/WebForm1.aspx.

Florida residents receive tremendous tax benefits through the Florida Homestead Property Tax Exemption.  For example, Florida property owners who qualify to receive a Homestead Exemption are eligible to receive a total exemption of up to $50,000.00. In addition to the above tax benefit, the “Save Our Homes” provision of the Florida Homestead Exemption caps the annual increase of the assessed value of homesteaded property beginning in the year the property owner qualifies and receives the homestead exemption. 

The annual increase thereafter will be the lesser of three percent or the change in the consumer price index for the previous year for so long as the property owner maintains their Florida Homestead. So what happens if you move after you have established your Florida Homestead?  Well, when an existing Florida homeowner establishes a new Florida homestead, they are entitled to “port” up to $500,000.00 of their “Save Our Homes” tax benefits to their new Florida homestead as long as they establish their new homestead within two years of leaving their prior Florida homestead property. For more information on Florida’s Homestead exemption, please read our blog https://berlinpatten.com/florida-homestead-exemption-save-homes-portability/.

Sarasota County Property Appraiser
2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota
(941) 861-8200
www.sc-pa.com

Manatee County Property Appraiser
915 4th Avenue West, Bradenton
(941) 748-8208
www.manateepao.com

1. Obtaining Your Florida Driver’s License or Identification Card

Florida requires that you update your address information on your driver’s license within 30 days of moving to your new address. You will be required to produce many original documents so it is best to be prepared and know which documents will be required before making the trip to the local DMV. You can access all of this information at flhsmv.gov or visit the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s website  http://www.sarasotataxcollector.com/services/motorist-services/drivers-license/document-requirements

2. Register to Vote

Once you receive your Florida Driver’s License you may register to vote. You can obtain a voter registration form online through the local supervisor of elections.

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections
101 South Washington Blvd., Sarasota
(941) 861-8600
www.sarasotavotes.com

Manatee Supervisor of Elections
600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 108, Bradenton
(941) 741-3823
www.votemanatee.com

3. Register Your Vehicle in Florida

The State of Florida requires a Florida license plate within 10 days of residency. For a list of required documents, please visit www.flhsmv.gov . Don’t forget to update your auto insurance!

Sarasota County
101 South Washington Blvd., Sarasota (941) 861-8300

Manatee County
819 301 Boulevard West, Bradenton (941) 741-4800