Teachers, first responders and active duty military who own homesteaded property in Florida could get an additional tax break.
HB 1663, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 28, authorizes the Legislature to provide a new homestead tax exemption for classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare professionals, and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, or members of the Florida National Guard.
Floridians who live in homesteaded properties already qualify for some property tax relief.
• A $25,000 exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value if your property is your permanent residence and you owned the property on January 1 of the tax year. This exemption applies to all taxes, including school district taxes.
• An additional $25,000 exemption applies to property value over $50,000 and does not apply to school district taxes.
HB 1663 provides an additional exemption of up to $50,000 on the property’s value between $100,000 and $150,000, for all levies other than school district levies.
For example, a qualified home with an appraised property value of $200,000, would be taxed on a value of $100,000. One mill equals $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of property value. So, if the county’s ad valorem tax rate was 8 mills, the tax savings would be about $400.
The bill directs the Legislature to appropriate money to fiscally constrained counties to offset reductions in ad valorem tax revenue resulting from the homestead exemption. Distributions to fiscally constrained counties will be made beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-2024.
If approved by the electors in the next general election in Nov. 2022, the proposed amendment will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
At the July 14 meeting of the Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners, County Administrator Deborah Manzo Okeechobee County is designated as one of the fiscally-constrained counties and would be reimbursed by the state for the difference in property taxes. Other counties designated by the state as fiscally-constrained include: Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okeechobee, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, and Washington.
To qualify for homestead exemption, it must be the permanent, legal home of the resident. One way to prove permanent, legal residence is to register to vote in Florida.