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Did You Know?

April 30

Did you know that you can pay your Sarasota county property taxes on a quarterly basis instead of having to pay all at one time?

In order to participate for this year, you must apply by April 30th. Click here to find the Installment Application form. In June, the Sarasota county tax collector will mail your first installment bill to you, with instructions. The great thing is that once you apply you do not need to reapply each year.

Once you have elected to participate by paying the first payment however, you are required to continue participation for the tax year.

The real estate tax bill is a combined notice of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments.

Ad valorem taxes are paid in arrears (at the end of the year) and are based on the calendar year from January 1 – December 31.  I like to describe ad valorem as “based on value”. So if your house is bigger, or your land is bigger, or your view is better, you pay more “based on value”.

Non-ad valorem assessments are not based on value but a unit of measure determined by the levying authority. The assessment periods vary and may not be based on the calendar year. Examples of non-ad valorem assessments are stormwater utility, fire and rescue, and solid waste collections. So all homes on the street would pay the same, regardless of size or amenities.

If you do not pay quarterly, taxes are due and payable on November 1st with discounts for early payment.

In cases where the property owner pays through an escrow account, the mortgage company requests and is sent the tax bill and the owner receives a copy of the notice. The mortgage company is then responsible to pay the taxes on time.

The following discounts apply for early payment of your Sarasota county real estate taxes:

  • 4% discount if paid in November
  • 3% discount if paid in December
  • 2% discount if paid in January
  • 1% discount if paid in February
  • The gross amount is due by March 31st

The property appraiser assesses all property at just value each year on January 1. When you acquire new real property, the assessed value of the property “resets” to equal the just (market) value.

If the new property owner has applied for and has been approved to receive the homestead exemption, the Save Our Homes cap is placed on the assessed value of the property the year after the property received the homestead exemption. This means that if the just value of the property increases, your next year assessed value cannot increase more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. For 2017, the CPI is 2.1%.

If the property does not benefit from a homestead exemption, the assessed value increase is limited to 10% each year.

So be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to pay your taxes quarterly and also take advantage of the homestead exemption with the Save Our Homes Cap.

Let us know how we can help with any of your real estate needs.

 

 

 

Have You Applied for Your Homestead Exemption for Your Sarasota Florida Real Estate?

Ringling Bridge Sarasota Florida

Q. How Can Taxes Be Fun?

A. When You Can File an Application One Time and Enjoy the Benefits and Savings for Years to Come

There are many benefits to the Homestead Exemption available to Sarasota Florida real estate property owners.

As a property owner you may be able to save hundred of dollars each year and reap additional benefits by having the Homestead Exemption.

There are 2 Important Deadlines

  • To qualify for the homestead exemption you must be a Florida resident and own and occupy the property as your permanent residence on January 1st of the year you claim the exemption.
  • March 1 is the deadline to apply for the current year – applications filed after March 1 may be considered, however the official deadline is March 1.

How to Apply

  • First you must gather the items you will need to have. See next section for tips.
  • You may bring the items and go in person to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser office:
  • 2001 Adams Lane
    Sarasota, FL 34237   or
  • 4000 S. Tamiami Trail,
    Ste 115, Venice, FL 34293
  • You may now apply online

Information You Will Need to Provide

Documents

  • Florida Drivers Licenses or Identification cards. Will need to provide ID# and issue date. Must reflect the permanent residence address.
  • Vehicle registrations. Will need to provide tag# and issue date. Must reflect the permanent residence address.
  • Voters registrations. Will need to provide ID# and issue date. Must reflect the permanent residence address.
  • Permanent Resident Alien Cards. Will need to provide ID# and issue date. A legible copy will also be required to be submitted to the office.

Information

  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of permanent Florida residence
  • Date of occupancy
  • Date of property purchase
  • Mailing address listed on last IRS tax return
  • Address of previous residence
  • Address of other property owned
  • Telephone number
  • Place of employment and telephone number

How Do I Know if I Qualify As a Permanent Resident?

The law does not require you to reside at your property a minimum number of days every year, in order to be a permanent resident

Florida law defines Permanent Residence as the place where a person has his or her true, fixed and permanent home to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning.

A person may have only one permanent residence at a time.

To be eligible for a Homestead Exemption, for the current tax year, you must meet the three requirements that follow:

  1. It is your present intent to make the property your permanent residence
  2. You have legal or equitable title to the property on January 1, and
  3. You reside on the property on January 1 and in good faith make it your permanent residence.

Additional Benefits to Homesteaded Property Owners in Sarasota Florida

Save Our Homes (SOH) – Homesteaded property owners receive additional tax relief in the form of a cap on the Assessed Value of the property.  The SOH cap is placed on the Assessed Value the year after the property receives a Homestead Exemption and is based on the lower of the following: Three percent of the Assessed Value of the property for the prior year, or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Portability of Homestead Savings –  in 2008 voters approved  a constitutional amendment, Amendment 1, which grants added tax relief to homesteaded property owners. The amendment gives homesteaded owners the ability to transfer some or all of their Save Our Homes benefits to a new homesteaded property.

Additional Exemptions Available

There are other exemptions available such as:

  • Senior Exemption with Limited Income
  • Total and Permanent Disability Exemption
  • Disabled Veterans Discount
  • Widow/Widower Exemption
  • Disability Exemption
  • Blind Disability Exemption
  • Disable Veteran

Take Action Now

Be sure to file on time and take advantage of these benefits. You do not need to file again each year if you continue to qualify.

I had a very good friend who lived in Sarasota for over 40 years. One day he complained to me about how much his real estate taxes had increased. I said that is not possible they are capped and cannot go up that much. After exploring it further it turned out he never applied for the Homestead Exemption and had been paying more than he needed to for many years.

We hope this is helpful. Be sure to confirm any information with the appraisers office.

Let us know how we can be of further help to you and the people you care about.