Posted on November 04, 2022 in: Guest Column
In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. This is a special day across our great nation that honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The history behind this special day and why it is unique to November 11th is because major hostilities of World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918. Another interesting fact is that Veterans Day was previously named Armistice Day. Armistice Day is the day that the fighting ended on land, sea and air between the Allies and the Germans. So on November 11th we will celebrate and recognize all Veterans for their service.
Florida is ranked #3 in the country with over 1.4 million veteran residents and Citrus County is home to almost 20,000 of them. Of those 20,000 veterans, roughly 4,100 were unfortunately disabled during their service in one manner or another. Of those 4,100 veterans that are disabled, a little more than 600 were totally and permanently disabled during their service in one manner or another. We have an amazing country because of these brave men and women.
This month I wanted to share some very important information with our disabled veterans or surviving spouses of a disabled veteran who was a Florida resident at the time of death. There are several exemptions that you may be eligible for if you qualify. The first important criteria is that you were honorably discharged from military service. The second criteria will be if you have a homestead exemption in CItrus County.
Florida Statute 196.24: tax exemption for veterans awarded 10% (or higher) military disability or the surviving spouse of the described veteran. To qualify for this exemption, the disabled veteran must produce a VA award letter reflecting an honorable discharge with 10% (or higher) service connected disability. The value of the exemption is a $5,000 reduction off of the assessed value of the veteran’s homestead property. An unremarried, surviving spouse of such a disabled veteran who was a Florida resident at the time of death is also entitled to the exemption with the same proof of disability.
Florida Statute 196.082: tax exemption for combat disabled veterans who are age 65 and older or the surviving spouse of the described Florida resident veteran. To qualify for this exemption the veteran must have a combat-related disability of 10% (or higher), show proof of age as of January 1 of the year to which the discount will apply, supply an official letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs which states the percentage of the veteran’s service-connected disability and evidence reasonably identifying the disability as combat-related, and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge paperwork.
If the partially or totally and permanently disabled veteran predeceases his or her spouse and if, upon the death of the veteran, the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides thereon as specified in Florida Statute 196.031, the discount from ad valorem tax that the veteran received carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s spouse until such time as he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. If the spouse sells or otherwise disposes of the property, a discount not to exceed the dollar amount granted from the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to his or her new residence, as long as it is used as his or her primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
Florida Statute 196.081: tax exemption for Florida resident veterans with a service-connected total and permanent disability exemption for veterans or the surviving spouse of a veteran who died while on active duty. To qualify, the veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected total & permanent disability, or the spouse or surviving spouse must produce a letter of total and permanent disability from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor before the property appraiser of the county in which property of the veteran lies that is owned and used as their homesteaded property.
If the totally and permanently disabled veteran predeceases his or her spouse and if, upon the death of the veteran was a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year the veteran died, the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides thereon as specified in Florida State Statute 196.031, the exemption from taxation carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s spouse until such time as he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. If the spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted from the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to his or her new residence, as long as it is used as his or her primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
Florida Statute 196.173: tax exemption designed to help deployed military service members. An eligible service member who seeks to claim the additional tax exemption must file an application for exemption with the property appraiser on or before March 1 of the year following the year of the qualifying deployment. The DR-501M form must require a servicemember to include or attach proof of a qualifying deployment, the dates of that deployment, and other information necessary to verify eligibility for and the amount of the exemption. The amount of the exemption is equal to the taxable value of the homestead of the servicemember on January 1 of the year in which the exemption is sought multiplied by the number of days that the service member was on a qualifying deployment in the preceding calendar year and divided by the number of days in that year.
I salute all of our Veterans for their service and most importantly their sacrifice. Our office is available to assist you with these military exemptions for property tax savings. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department at (352) 341-6600, or, during business hours, you can ask questions via our chat feature online at www.citruspa.org.