The Florida homestead exemption has three separate components; creditor
protection, real property tax exemptions and limitation on devise and
descent. As most people know, Florida allows for unlimited homestead creditor
protection as long as the home is the recipient’s primary residence
and located on one-half acre or less within a municipality or 160 acres
outside of a municipality. Here, we will focus on the new revisions to
the real property tax exemption.
This year, the homestead tax exemption for low-income senior citizens living
in Florida was raised from $25,000.00 to a maximum of $50,000.00. However,
it isn’t automatic for every county. A board of county commissioners
or the governing taxing authority of a municipality may now adopt an ordinance
to allow an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000.00. For instance,
Broward County recently passed an ordinance increasing the additional
exemption for the County portion of the property tax bill. The taxing
authorities of the following municipalities have also adopted the additional
exemption: Bay Harbor Islands, Miami Gardens, Palmetto Bay, Miami, Town
of Lantana and Palm Beach County. Other localities reserve the right to
adopt the full exemption amount or any portion of it. Therefore, it is
very important to contact your local Property Appraiser’s office
to determine whether you qualify for the additional homestead tax exemption.
In order to qualify, a recipient must be aged 65 or older as of January
1, 2017 and already have homestead filed on their current residence. The
recipient must also have a combined household adjusted gross income for
2016 not exceeding $28,482.00. Certain forms, depending on the Property
Appraiser’s office must be filed by the deadline of March 1, 2017
in order to take advantage of the additional homestead.
Individuals who believe they qualify are urged to contact their local Property
Appraiser’s office. If you aren’t sure, feel free to contact
our office and speak to one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.