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Florida Homestead Portability

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Florida homestead portability is a feature of the state's property tax law that allows eligible homeowners to transfer the accumulated Save Our Homes (SOH) benefit from one homestead property to another when they move within the state. The primary purpose of homestead portability is to provide property tax relief to Florida residents who sell their existing homestead and purchase a new one, allowing them to carry over a portion of the property tax savings they enjoyed on their previous home.

Here's how Florida homestead portability generally works:

Save Our Homes Benefit: Florida's Save Our Homes (SOH) program caps the annual increase in the assessed value of a homestead property for property tax purposes. Under SOH, the increase in the assessed value is limited to the lower of 3% or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Eligibility: To be eligible for homestead portability, the homeowner must have an existing homestead exemption on their current property, and they must be moving to a new homestead property in Florida.

Transfer of SOH Benefit: When a homeowner with an existing homestead exemption sells their current homestead and purchases a new one, they can transfer a portion of the SOH benefit they have accrued to the new property. This means that the new property's assessed value for property tax purposes will increase at a slower rate than it otherwise would.

Calculation: The specific calculation for the transferred SOH benefit can be somewhat complex, but it generally involves taking the difference between the assessed value of the previous homestead and the just value (market value) of that property and applying it to the new homestead.

Limitations: There are certain limitations and rules governing homestead portability. For example, there is a cap on the maximum amount of SOH benefit that can be transferred, and it may not be applicable in some circumstances, such as when moving to a more valuable property.

Application Process: Homeowners must apply for homestead portability when they apply for a new homestead exemption on the new property. This typically involves completing the appropriate forms and providing the necessary documentation.

Primary Residence Requirement: Both the old and new properties must be the homeowner's primary residence, and the homeowner must establish residency at the new property within a reasonable timeframe.

Florida homestead portability can provide significant property tax savings when moving within the state, allowing homeowners to maintain some of the benefits of the Save Our Homes program. However, it's essential for individuals to understand the eligibility criteria, calculations, and limitations associated with homestead portability and to consult with their local property appraiser's office or a tax professional for guidance when making such a move.

Click below for portability links to Collier:

Contributed by: Bradley D. Bryant, Esq.


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