WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO RECEIVE THE BENEFITS FROM AMENDMENT ONE
 Information from Governor Charlie Crist

On January 29, 2008, an overwhelming 64 percent of Florida voters helped change Florida’s property tax system.  To receive some of the benefits of the changes enacted on January 29, certain homeowners must take action by March 1, 2008.

The Constitutional amendment created four new opportunities for taxpayers to obtain tax relief:
1.      Increased homestead exemption
2.      Portability of “Save our Homes” benefit
3.      $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property
4.      10 percent annual assessment cap for non-homestead property

What taxpayers must do to receive these new benefits:
1. Increased homestead exemption – Homeowners that are currently receiving the homestead exemption will automatically receive the increased homestead exemption. No action is necessary.

2.Portability of “Save our Homes” benefits – If you received the homestead exemption   in 2007 on a home that you sold or otherwise abandoned during 2007 and have purchased a new home by January 1, 2008, you are eligible to take some or all of the benefit of “Save our Homes” to your new home. In order to receive this benefit, you must apply by March 1, 2008 to your property appraiser for your new homestead exemption and for the transfer of the “Save Our Homes” benefit to your new homestead for 2008. Portability applies to homes purchased in 2007 and later, and the benefit is capped at $500,000.

3. $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property – Tangible personal property taxes apply only to certain taxpayers in Florida – typically businesses and certain owners of mobile homes. The tax does not apply to homesteaded property. In order to receive the $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property, taxpayers subject to the tax must file a tangible personal property return with their property appraiser by April 1, 2008.

4. 10 percent limit on annual assessment increases for non-homestead property – The   10 percent limitation does not apply until 2009. No application is necessary for 2008.

If you have any questions about what action you must take to receive these new benefits, please contact your local property appraiser. For information on how to contact Florida’s property appraisers, go to http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/appraisers.html.

Apply by March 1, 2008, to transfer your “Save Our Homes” benefit to your new home.

The Florida homestead exemption "Save Our Homes" benefit is now "portable" because of the passage of the constitutional amendment on January 29, 2008. The "Save Our Homes" benefit is the difference between the assessed value and market value of a homestead property due to the annual limit on increases in assessed value. Portability means that, from now on, you can transfer some or all of your old home's "Save Our Homes" benefit to your new home.

You must apply to your property appraiser to transfer your "Save Our Homes" benefit.

Portability for 2008

Portability first becomes available for homeowners who had a 2007 homestead exemption on their Former home and established a new homestead by January 1 ,2008.

If you moved into a new home by January 1, 2008, you have through March 1, 2008, to apply to your property appraiser for your new homestead exemption and for the transfer of the “Save Our Homes” benefit to your new homestead for 2008.

If you have already applied for a homestead exemption on your new home, you must complete a separate application by March 1, 2008, to transfer the "Save Our Homes" benefit to your new homestead.

Portability for 2009 and after

If you move into a new home after January 1, 2008, and prior to January 1, 2009, and had a previous homestead exemption in either 2007 or 2008, you must apply for your 2009 homestead exemption and the transfer of your "Save Our Homes" benefit by March 1, 2009.

In future years, you will be able to transfer your “Save Our Homes” benefit to a new home if you had the homestead exemption on your old home in either of the two preceding years.