What is the Florida Homestead Exemption?
This is taken straight from the Homestead application used to file for the homestead exemption:
Every person who owns real property in Florida on January 1, makes the property his or her permanent residence or the permanent residence of a legal or natural dependent,and files an application may receive a property tax exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes. The added $25,000 applies to assessed value over $50,000 and only to non-school taxes.
Save our Homes (SOH): Beginning the year after you receive homestead exemption, the assessment on your home cannot increase by more than the lesser of the change in the Consumer Price Index or 3 percent each year, no matter how much the just value increases. If you have moved from one Florida homestead to another within the last two years, you may be eligible to take some of your SOH savings with you. See your property appraiser for more information.
So, as you can see, it's not as simple as taking 50k off of your accessed value, BUT it can give you a rough idea what to expect. If you buy a house this year and the current owner has it homesteaded (is that even a word?), then you will get to use their homestead for the remaining tax period. Once you get your deed in the mail, which should take about 6 weeks or so, you want to go file it then and there. Ok, you can wait a day or two if you want, but don't forget. You have until March 1st of the following year to file, but don't wait or life can happen. I know I'm bossy, I just don't want you to spend more money than you have to. :)
Where do you file?
477 Houston St Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 904-284/269-6395
1518 Park Ave Orange Park, FL 32073 904-269-6320
231 E Forsyth St Jacksonville, FL 32202 904-630-1916
4030 Lewis Speedway St Augustine, FL 32084 904-209-2250