With the holiday season fast approaching, giving is on everyone’s mind. While finding the perfect gift for a loved one can be difficult, enjoying the perks of Homestead shouldn’t be. The Homestead provisions of the Florida Constitution are the State’s gift to the permanent residents of Florida. If you are a permanent resident of Florida and the property is your primary residence, you are eligible for the gift of Homestead.
Homestead is the rare type of gift that has both immediate and long-term benefits. First, a Homestead property enjoys immediate tax savings. For most Homestead properties, a property owner is eligible for a property tax exemption of up to $50,000.00. Secondly, thanks to the “Save Our Homes” Florida Constitutional amendment, there are long-term property tax savings as well. A Homestead property’s assessed value is limited to annual increases of three percent or the change In the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. Over time, the tax savings can be significant. With immediate and long-term tax savings, Homestead is surely a gift like no other!
Spending the holidays in your recently purchased primary residence? You might be eligible to transfer the accrued tax savings from your previous Homestead property to your new primary residence. This transfer of accrued savings is called “portability.” Through portability, a property owner may transfer up to $500,000.00 of the accrued “Save Our Homes” benefit from one primary residence to another. Homestead’s generous offerings also include certain creditor protections, as well as protection for a surviving spouse and minor children. Oh, the joys of Homestead!
In order to qualify for Homestead, an owner must occupy the property as their primary residence on January 1 of the year claimed. Therefore, the time is now to put those pillows and blankets in your new home. An updated driver’s license, with the new property address, is helpful in showing that the property is your new primary residence. But remember, those driver’s licenses must be updated prior to January 1 to enjoy the gift of Homestead in 2020!
There is one last gift from Homestead. Once properly filed, an owner does not need to file any more paperwork during their ownership of the property. Further, the “Save Our Homes” tax savings automatically accrue. Homestead truly is the gift that keeps on giving!