Sunday, January 20, 2013

File for your Homestead Exemption in Pensacola!

File for your Homestead Exemption

The March 1st deadline to apply for a Florida homestead exemption is rapidly approaching. If you purchased a new home within the last year, this is a deadline you do not want to miss.

There are additional exemptions for homeowners who are active duty military, disabled veterans, seniors over 65, widowers, and other special categories. It’s essential that all homeowners understand all of their entitlements. Since we have many military and retirees in the area, the staff at Realty Masters are finding that many eligible owners are not aware of their benefits nor do they know how and when to apply. Our goal is to spread the word and ensure everyone receive all their entitlements.

Benefits of a Homestead Exemption - There are numerous financial benefits to having a homestead exemption on your property. On the most basic level, the homestead exemption itself entitles most homeowners to a deduction of $25,000 off of their property’s assessed value, which can result in several hundred dollars in tax savings. If your home is worth at least $75,000, you will receive an additional $25,000 deduction from your assessed value, although that additional deduction will not apply to school tax levies. Once you establish your right to a basic homestead exemption on your property, you may also qualify for additional homestead exemptions if you are over 65 years old or have a disability. But perhaps most importantly, receipt of a homestead exemption means that, pursuant to the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution, the assessed value of your homestead property cannot increase more than 3% per year or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index. Moreover, in many cases, this tax savings can now be transferred to a new Florida residence if you move. Thus, while the basic homestead exemption may only save you a few hundred dollars per year, the rights that come with a homestead exemption can be extremely valuable.

How to Apply - Homestead exemption applications must be filed with the county Property Appraiser by March 1st of the tax year for which the exemption is sought. Thus, in order to receive a 2012 homestead exemption, you must apply by March 1, 2013. If you acquired or moved into your new home after January 1, 2013, then you would not qualify for a 2012 homestead exemption, but you can go ahead and apply now for a 2013 homestead exemption. If you already have a homestead exemption, you probably do not need to re-apply, as most counties use an automatic renewal process, whereby you only need to notify the Property Appraiser if you are no longer entitled to the exemption. If you have any questions regarding eligibility we recommend you go to their office or call them (especially if considering a purchase or soon after buying a home). They will outline the various exemptions and criteria in detail.

You can contact your Florida county property appraiser at Santa Rosa County (850)-983-1880 or Escambia County (850) 434-2735.

Have a great day,
Bob Supinger, Realtor
Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rentals
(850) 473-3983 Office
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Over 45 apartments and homes for rent
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