Posted on February 01, 2022 in: General News
Act fast! The deadline to apply for the homestead exemption is March 1, 2022. You can file on our website at citruspa.org or come into either of our two offices in Inverness or Crystal River. Our Customer Service team is available to assist you with any questions you may have. We know not everyone wants to call a government office anymore, so we now offer an online chat service on our website. Feel free to chat with us during working hours. You will be speaking directly with one our amazing customer service representatives.
So, what is homestead? In the State of Florida, a $25,000 exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value if your property is your permanent residence and you owned the property on January 1 of the tax year. This exemption applies to all taxes, including school district taxes. An additional exemption of up to $25,000 will be applied if your property’s assessed value is between at least $50,000 and $75,000. This exemption is not applied to school district taxes. The Homestead Exemption includes an additional benefit called the “Save our Homes Cap”. This benefit will limit the annual increase of the assessed value to 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. Over time this “Save Our Homes” cap may result in quite the difference in your Market Value vs. Assessed Value. That difference is then considered your “portability”, which can be transferred or “ported” to your new home in the State of Florida if you choose to apply for homestead exemption there. This is an awesome benefit that comes with the homestead exemption. When a property is sold the homestead exemption is removed, the assessed value increases to the just/market value for the new year. Now, if you choose to not homestead your property, keep in mind that you will not benefit from that 3% limitation. Instead, all non-homesteaded properties annual assessment can increase up to 10%.
What do I need to file for a homestead? For starters you must have legal or beneficial title, and be residing in the home as of January 1, 2022. When filing for the Homestead Exemption, you will need the following documents for all property owners applying. Florida Driver’s License/Florida ID Card, Florida Vehicle Registration (if you drive), & Florida Voter Registration (if you vote). Documents should reflect the address of your homesteaded property. In addition, your social security card/number, immigration documents if not a U.S. citizen, are the basics that will be required. Feel free to call our office at (352) 341-6600 and we can review your property and give you a detailed list of required documents that may pertain to your situation, prior to coming in the office or filing online.
If you are married and your spouse is not an owner on the property, we will still require their information as well. Now, if your spouse has a homestead exemption on their home and you want to apply for a homestead at your residence, unfortunately that won’t work. A married couple is only entitled to receive one homestead exemption per the Constitution of The State of Florida, Article VII, Section 6 (b).
“I already have a homestead exemption”. That’s great! Then you do not need to reapply for that exemption each year. We will renew your exemption(s) annually as long as you still qualify for them. After January 1 of each year, you will receive a homestead exemption receipt postcard by mail from our office. This is your renewal confirmation. You must only return the card to our office if you no longer qualify for the homestead exemption or any other exemptions that have been applied for. Florida Statute 196.011 (9)(b) requires the owner to notify the Property Appraiser whenever the use of the property or the status or condition of the owner changes so as to change the exempt status of the property. A “no longer qualified” status may be due to the property being rented, is no longer your permanent residence, or there is a change in ownership due to a sale, marriage, divorce, death. If a property owner fails to notify the Property Appraiser and the Property Appraiser determines that the owner was not entitled to receive Homestead Exemption(s), the property shall be subject to a lien for the taxes that were exempted within the prior 10 years, plus 50% penalties and 15% interest.
Our office makes every effort to ensure the homeowners of Citrus County understand the exemption process. The staff at the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s office are always available to answer any questions you may have in both of our offices.