In the state of Florida, you get $25,000 off the assessed value of your home, which is what you pay your taxes on. If the home is your primary residence, there is some additional homestead exemption that brings some of the taxable values down by $50,000 a year, but for the most part, the exemption cuts $25,000 off of the assessed value of your home.

You have to be the owner of public record on January 1 to apply for the homestead exemption for that year. That means if you closed on the home in 2018, you would want to apply for your homestead exemption no later than February 28, 2019 to be eligible for all of 2019. The tax bills in Florida run from January 1 to December 28, which is why they’ve selected the January date as the cut-off.

“You have to be the owner of public record on January 1 to apply for the homestead exemption for that year.”

Additionally, in 2008, the state enacted something called the Florida property tax portability. During that time, they realized that people and homeowners weren’t really moving up because their taxable values were so implanted due to the market going up in the years prior. This portability allows current homeowners who are looking to port a portion of their current tax bill to their new home, limits the amount that taxes can go up on your nicer, bigger, newer homes, and also helps your monthly payments and expenditures every year. It’s just an added benefit of owning a primary residence in the state of Florida.

As a recap: If you sold a home in 2018 and then bought another home in 2018, you’ll want to apply for your homestead exemption no later than February 28, and you should also be sure to check to see if you’re eligible for the property tax portability.

If you or someone you know have any questions regarding the homestead exemption or property tax portability, don’t hesitate to reach out to my team. We’d be glad to guide you through the particulars.