Florida Homestead Exemption and Save our Homes Benefits
LAST UPDATED: 23 January 2024

Florida Homestead Exemption and Save our Homes Benefits

Whether you are interested in looking for Sanibel beachfront homes for sale, or a Captiva Island condominiums for sale, or any permanent home in Florida, it's important that you understand Florida's homestead exemption and Save Our Homes restriction of tax assessment increases and how they may apply to your property purchase.

Every year, thousands of Florida property owners who qualify for the state Homestead Tax Exemption save money on their taxes. If you own property in Florida and make it your permanent residence, you may qualify for a reduction in your home's assessed tax value up to $50,000. This benefit then qualifies the homeowner for the Save Our Homes tax assessment limitations which can further reduce the rate at which your home's assessed value can increase in any given year.

In Florida, the first year a home receives a homestead exemption, the property appraiser assesses it at just value. Now, with that in mind, for each of the following years, the Save Our Homes Amendment (SOH) of the FL Constitution, prevents the assessed value of said homestead property from increasing more than 3% per year or, exceeding the percent change in the Consumer Price Index – whichever is lower. This is known as the SOH “assessment limitation”.

The accumulated difference between your assessed value and the just (market) value is referred to as the SOH “benefits” or “savings”.

As of 2008, homestead property owners can transfer up to $500K of accumulated SOH savings from an existing or prior homestead property to a new one. This may lower the tax assessment and, consequently, the taxes on the new property. If the new homestead is of equal or greater value than the old homestead, the homeowner may port up to $500,000 of capped value to their new homestead. If the new homestead is of lesser value than the old homestead, a percentage of the accumulated benefit may be transferred to the new homestead.

Of course, this portability is not without its limitations. In Florida, a homeowner may transfer their SOH benefits within two years of leaving their former Florida Homestead – if the new homestead is established by January 1st.

Ex: A person moving during 2017 has until January 1st 2019 to qualify for a new exemption and “port” their benefits to a new homestead. 

You do not have to sell your home to qualify for portability, all that is required is that you abandon your existing homestead. After you abandon your existing homestead, you can transfer it to either a newly purchased home or any property you already own.

Learn more about how to qualify for Florida Homestead Exemption.

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