Home Selling November 30, 2023

Understanding Florida’s Save our Homes and Homestead Portability

Understanding Florida’s Save our Homes and Homestead Portability

Introduction to Florida’s Property Tax System

Florida is known for its sunny weather, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture, making it a desirable place to live for many people. However, like any state, it has its own unique property tax system that can be complicated to understand. In this blog post, we will focus on two key aspects of Florida’s property tax system: Save our Homes and Homestead Portability.

What is Save our Homes?

Save our Homes is a property tax assessment limitation that was passed by Florida voters in 1992. It was designed to protect homeowners from rapid increases in property taxes due to rising property values. The law limits the increase in the assessed value of a homestead property to no more than 3% per year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. This means that even if the market value of your home increases significantly, your property tax bill cannot increase by more than 3% each year.

What is Homestead Portability?

Homestead Portability is a provision of Florida’s property tax system that allows homeowners to transfer their Save our Homes benefit when they move to a new homestead property within the state. This means that if you have been living in your current home for several years and have accumulated a significant Save our Homes benefit, you can apply that benefit to your new home and reduce your property tax bill.

How does Homestead Portability Work?

To qualify for Homestead Portability, you must have established a homestead in Florida and claimed the Save our Homes benefit on that property. When you move to a new homestead property, you can apply for Homestead Portability by filing Form DR-501T with your local property appraiser’s office. The form will calculate the amount of Save our Homes benefit that you can transfer to your new property, based on the difference between the market value and assessed value of your old and new homes.

Benefits of Save our Homes and Homestead Portability

The Save our Homes and Homestead Portability provisions of Florida’s property tax system offer several benefits to homeowners. First, Save our Homes provides stability and predictability in property tax bills, which can be helpful for homeowners on a fixed income. Second, Homestead Portability allows homeowners to transfer their Save our Homes benefit and reduce their property tax bill when they move to a new homestead property. This can make it more affordable for homeowners to upgrade to a larger or more expensive home without facing a significant increase in property taxes.

Conclusion:

Florida’s property tax system is complex, but understanding key provisions like Save our Homes and Homestead Portability can help homeowners make informed decisions about their properties. If you are a homeowner in Florida, be sure to explore the options available to you and take advantage of any benefits that may be available. By doing so, you can make the most of your investment and enjoy your Florida home for years to come.

Additionally, it’s important to note that while Save our Homes and Homestead Portability offer benefits to homeowners, they can also have implications for local governments and school districts. Since Save our Homes limits the increase in assessed value, it can result in reduced revenue for local governments and school districts, which may need to make up the difference through other means such as raising millage rates or cutting services. It’s a delicate balance that needs to be maintained in order to ensure that homeowners are protected while also ensuring that necessary services are provided to the community.

In conclusion, Florida’s Save our Homes and Homestead Portability provisions are important aspects of the state’s property tax system that offer benefits to homeowners. They provide stability and predictability in property tax bills, while also allowing homeowners to transfer their benefits when they move to a new homestead property. However, it’s important to understand that these provisions can also have implications for local governments and school districts, and it’s important to strike a balance between protecting homeowners and ensuring that necessary services are provided to the community. If you have questions about Florida’s property tax system or how it may impact your property, it’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified real estate professional or tax advisor.

Additional Resources: 

Save our Homes, Portability: https://www.pa.martin.fl.us/homestead-exemption/save-our-homes-portability

Florida Department of Revenue: https://floridarevenue.com/property/Documents/pt112.pdf

Homestead Portability Estimator: https://www.pa.martin.fl.us/homestead-tax-estimator

To read my other blog post or learn about me, check out my website:

https://findyour-floridahome.com/

Understanding Florida’s Save our Homes and Homestead Portability was written by Troy McDonald who is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty in Stuart, Florida. He is also an Elected City Commissioner and Mayor of Stuart, Florida.

Troy McDonald’s Bio (findyour-floridahome.com)

Troy McDonald provides tips for moving to a new home with your dog.

Troy McDonald