When someone owns property and makes it his or her permanent residence or the permanent residence of his or her dependent, the property owner may be eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000 applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes. (see section 196.031, Florida Statutes)
The application for homestead exemption (Form DR- 501) and other exemption forms are on the Department’s forms page and on most property appraisers' websites. If you are filing for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions: Whose name or names were on the title on January 1? What is your social security number and your spouse’s social security number? Were you or your dependent living in the dwelling on January 1? Do you claim residency in another county or state?
Your property appraiser may also ask for any of the following items to prove your residency: Proof of previous residency outside Florida and date ended Florida driver license or identification card number. Evidence of giving up driver license from another state, Florida vehicle license plate number, Florida voter registration number (if US citizen), Declaration of domicile and residency date, Name of current employer, Address listed on your last IRS return, Dependent children’s school location(s), Bank statement and checking account mailing address, Proof of payment of utilities at homestead address.
If you are moving from a previous Florida homestead to a new homestead in Florida, you may be able to transfer, or “port,” all or part of your homestead assessment difference. See Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation and Portability Transfer. You should complete all required forms and applications for the exemption and file them with your county property appraiser. If the property appraiser denies your application, you may file a petition with the county’s value adjustment board. For more information, see Petitions to the Value Adjustment Board.
Examples of how the Homestead Exemption works:
Assessed Value $45,000 The first $25,000 of value is exempt from all property tax and the remaining $20,000 of value is taxable. Assessed Value $65,000 The first $25,000 of value is exempt from all property tax, the next $25,000 of value is taxable, and the remaining $15,000 of value is exempt from non- school taxes. Assessed Value $85,000 The first $25,000 of value is exempt from all property tax, the next $25,000 of value is taxable, the third $25,000 of value is exempt from non-school taxes, and the remaining $10,000 of value is taxable.
The Department of Revenue’s website has more information about property tax benefits for homestead properties. http://floridarevenue.com/property/Pages/Taxpayers.aspx