Property Tax Information for Florida First-Time Homebuyers

By Housing Nonprofit

Florida’s Property Tax System

County property appraisers assess all real property in their counties as of January 1 each
year. The property appraiser sends an annual Notice of Proposed Property Taxes in August to
each property owner. After the local governments determine their annual budgets, the county tax
collector sends a tax bill to each property owner in late October or November. The taxes are due
by the following March 31. Please see the Overview of the Annual Property Tax System for
more information on Florida’s property tax system.

Homestead Exemption

Every parcel of real property has a just value, an assessed value, and a taxable value. The just
value is the property’s market value. The assessed value is the just value minus assessment
limitations (see the Save Our Homes section below). The taxable value is the assessed value minus exemptions and is the value the tax collector uses to calculate the taxes due.

The homestead exemption can result in exempting up to $50,000 of your home’s assessed value from tax liability. Please see our homestead exemption brochure for more details. Visit our taxpayer page to see if you qualify for other types of exemptions.

Save Our Homes Benefit

After the first year a home receives the homestead exemption, its assessed value for each following year cannot increase more than 3 percent. The accumulated difference between the just value and the assessed value is the SOH benefit. You can read more about SOH in our brochure.

Your Taxes vs. the Previous Owner’s Taxes

Many first-time Florida homeowners are surprised when their tax bills are higher than the tax bills of the previous owner(s) or their neighbor(s). When the property changes ownership, Florida law requires the property appraiser to remove exemptions and reassess the property so the assessed value equals the
just value. This takes effect on January 1 after you purchase the property.

The previous owner’s exemption and SOH benefit stay with the property for the remainder of the tax (calendar) year in which you purchase your home, so your first tax bill will reflect the previous owner’s
benefits if you bought the home before he or she paid that year’s tax bill. If you owned property on January 1 and apply for the homestead exemption by March 1, your tax bill for the year will reflect
the reduction in taxable value, but the SOH benefit will not take effect until the following year.

For example, you bought your home in September last year. The previous owner owned the home for 12 years and had the homestead exemption. The assessed value for last year was $110,000, and the taxable value was $60,000. After the property appraiser reassessed your home as of January 1 this year, the assessed value increased to $130,000. You applied for and received the homestead exemption, which
lowered your taxable value to $80,000, an increase in your tax liability over the previous year. Next year, the SOH benefit will take effect, so your assessed value cannot increase more than 3 percent ($3,900).