Relocating To Florida? There Are Ways To Save On Property Taxes.

The Homestead Act can reduce your taxes and cost of living when relocating to Florida. It's one of the best places to live. 

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For many of our residents, owning property in Citrus Hills isn’t just an investment, it’s a place to call home and enjoy life for years to come. The rolling hills give the area a unique beauty. Cool breezes from the Gulf of Mexico ease the heat and create a comfortable climate that averages between 65 and 75 degrees most of the year. Three top-tier golf courses, a tennis center and incredible fishing, hiking and boating will keep you busy every day. Our residents often say that the friendly neighborhoods and reasonably priced, high-quality homes make living at Citrus Hills the very best decision they’ve ever made.

If you are also considering making a long-term move to Florida, we can explain to you the various ways to save on your local property taxes. Here are a few:

People 65 and over: If you are a permanent resident of Florida, you can get a property tax exemption up to $50,000 on your primary home. There are a number of conditions to apply, such as income limitations, and the benefits can vary from county to county.

Widow or widower: Any widow or widower who is a Florida resident may claim a $500 exemption.

Homestead exemption: The Florida Homestead Exemption reduces the assessed value of a home by $25,000 for the school taxes and $50,000 for the remaining taxes. If you own a home with an assessed value of $260,000, it would be taxed as if it were a $210,000 home.

Florida homestead exemptions on property taxes are only available on a person’s primary home, or permanent residence. It does not apply to a rental property, business or second home. However, if you’ve made Florida your home you can qualify for these tax benefits.

To receive a homestead exemption, an application must be filed with the Property Appraiser in your county by March 1 of the tax year. As part of the application process, you must show that you’ve moved to Florida, such as changing your driver’s license or registering to vote in Florida. Some of the other factors the Property Appraiser may consider include a formal declaration of domicile, your vehicle registration, federal income tax returns, address on your bank statement and the location of your child's school if applicable.

If you are granted a homestead exemption, you are eligible for further property tax savings through the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution. It caps the amount a home’s assessed value can increase each year, so that when the real estate market is hot and home prices increase quickly, residents are protected from seeing major jumps in their property taxes that they cannot afford to pay.

With a homestead exemption, the assessed value cannot increase more than 3 percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. This savings continues as long as you keep the home as your main residence and in many cases can be transferred if you purchase a new home in Florida. When compared to the property tax payments you would be making in other states without this kind of tax relief, the long-term savings are significant.

When budgeting for a new home purchase, local property taxes are a major factor. We here at the Villages of Citrus Hills can guide you through Florida’s tax laws and show you the cost savings available to you if you make Florida your home.