Florida Homestead Exemption
Are you considering buying a home or investment property in Southwest Florida? Owning a home in Florida has an added benefit: Homestead Exemption. Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions found in any state.
What Is A Homestead Exemption?
- A person who, on January 1, has the legal title or beneficial title in equity to real property in this state and who in good faith makes the property his or her permanent residence or the permanent residence of another or others legally or naturally dependent upon him or her, is entitled to an exemption. Once granted, you are entitled to a reduction of up to $50,000 from the assessed value of your dwelling.
To qualify you must be a permanent resident of Florida as of January 1st of the year in which you apply for the exemption. Florida law does allow new homestead applications to be filed prior to January 1st of the year the exemption is to be effective. However, pre-filed applications will only be accepted after March 1st of each year for the succeeding year.
Florida Statutes allow only one Homestead Exemption per “family unit.” This means that anyone applying for the Homestead Exemption in Collier County would not be legally entitled to receive the exemption if they or their spouse are receiving residency-based exemption(s) in another state. This includes veterans and senior citizen exemptions.
All of the following items are required as proof of legal residence:
- Evidence of ownership (deed, tax receipt, etc.)
- Social Security numbers for all applicants and spouses; as required by F.S. Section 196.011(1)
- Lee County or Collier County Voter Registration (if you vote) dated prior to January 1st
- Florida Driver License dated prior to January 1st
- Florida Vehicle Registration dated prior to January 1st
Optional: Declaration of Domicile filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court prior to January 1st of the year of application.
Additional information may be necessary:
- If not a U.S. citizen, a resident alien “green” card.
- If your property is held in trust, a complete copy of the trust agreement.
- If your residence is a mobile home, the real property decal number and a copy of the registration or title to the mobile home.
- If you or your spouse benefitted from a residency based exemption on an out of state property, a document from that government office stating the exemption has been removed will be required.
When and Where to File:
New applications for Homestead Exemption for the current year must be made in person prior to March 1st at the Property Appraiser’s office or at select locations during the regular homestead filing period. If you move, you must file a new application for homestead at your new residence. It does not automatically transfer.
Lee County: How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption
- You may file for your homestead exemption by mail, in person or on-line at www.leepa.org.
- If you are filing by mail, you may , complete same, attach required documentation and mail the formto the Lee County Property Appraiser’s office.
Collier County: How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption
Visit the Collier County Property Appraiser’s website for details about obtaining forms and filing information.