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The Secret to Saving Big on Property Taxes? Homestead Exemption

Dylan McLeod

Dylan McLeod is a top producing real estate agent and the owner/team lead of The McLeod Team, a rapidly growing Team of Real Estate professionals serv...

Dylan McLeod is a top producing real estate agent and the owner/team lead of The McLeod Team, a rapidly growing Team of Real Estate professionals serv...

Jan 23 6 minutes read

Did you know that many homeowners in Hernando County, Florida, are missing out on significant savings? The key lies in understanding and filing for homestead exemption. 

Below, we've included everything you need to know about filing for homestead exemption in Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus County in 2024. Learn about who is eligible, how to apply, and maximize your property tax benefits!

1. What is Homestead Exemption?

Exemptions reduce the assessed value of your property, thereby reducing the amount of property tax you pay.
 Homestead exemption is a Constitutional benefit that can lead to savings of up to $50,000 and is a financial game-changer for homeowners.

The exemption amount is incremental, depending on the Assessed Value of the property.

  • If your Homestead property has an Assessed Value of up to $50,000, you will keep the current exemption of $25,000.
  • If your Homestead property has an Assessed Value of $50,001 through $74,999, the additional homestead exemption will increase up to $24,999.
  • If your Homestead property has an Assessed Value of $75,000 or more, you will receive the full additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption.

2. Who Qualifies for Homestead Exemption?

Florida residents who live in, and claim the residence as their permanent/primary home on January 1, can file an application with the Property Appraiser's Office prior to March 1, 2024. Owners must have legal/equitable title to the property and cannot receive residency-based tax benefit elsewhere. 

A husband and wife are considered a Family Unit and can only claim one home as their permanent and primary residence.

3. Avoiding Pitfalls: How to Keep Your Exemption 

While the homestead exemption opens doors to savings, there are 5 common things that can cause homeowners to lose their homestead exemption:

  • Renting Your Property:  If you rent your property either yearly or seasonally, it may affect your homestead exemption. However, there's an exception mentioned in (F.S. 196.061) stating that abandonment of the homestead after January 1 of any year does not affect the homestead exemption for tax purposes for that particular year, unless the property is rented for more than 30 days per calendar year for 2 consecutive years.
  • Out of State Residency: If you maintain or obtain an out-of-state residency-based tax exemption, reduction, benefit, credit, etc., it may impact your homestead exemption. This applies even if only one spouse applies for homestead in the current location, and the other applies or is receiving an out-of-state tax credit. If you and your spouse fall into this category, you must cancel your out-of-state tax benefit effective January 1 of the year you apply for homestead exemption.  
  • Driver License in Another State: Maintaining or obtaining a driver's license in any other state is considered residency-based.
  • Vehicle Registration: If none of your vehicles are registered in Florida, it is mentioned as one of the factors that may lead to losing the homestead exemption. 
  • Voter Registration: As a resident of Hernando County, Florida, it's specified that this county must be the only place you are registered to vote. If you choose to file a Declaration of Domicile instead of registering to vote, you still may not register to vote elsewhere.  

Hernando County 2024 Filing Info

For a list of documents needed to qualify in Hernando County, FL click here.

Hernando County offers 3 ways to file for the exemption: apply in person, apply by mail or online.

Hernando County Property Appraiser (Exemptions/General GIS): 352-754-4194

Offices will accept exemption applications for the 2024 tax year until March 1, 2024.

Pasco County 2024 Filing Info

For a list of documents needed to qualify and to file online, click here.

Pasco County Property Appraiser Contact Info

  • E. Pasco/Dade City: (352) 521-4433 
  • Land O' Lakes: (813) 929-2780
  • W. Pasco/New Port Richey: (727) 847-8151

Offices will accept exemption applications for the 2024 tax year until March 1, 2024.

Citrus County 2024 Filing Info

For a list of documents needed to qualify in Citrus County, FL click here.

Citrus County offers 3 ways to file for the exemption: apply in person, apply by mail or online.

Citrus County Property Appraiser Contact Info: (352) 341-6600

Offices will accept exemption applications for the 2024 tax year until March 1, 2024.

Filing for homestead exemption is not just a paperwork process; it's a financial strategy. By understanding the nuances and avoiding common pitfalls, you can unlock substantial savings on your 2023 home purchase. Take control of your property taxes and secure the homestead exemption advantage today!

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