Tampa homeowners pay significantly lower taxes on their primary residences because of the Florida’s Save Our Homes (SOH) Act that awards savings to resident homeowners through homestead exemptions.
Qualifying for Homestead Exemption
Homeowners must have owned the home by January 1 of the first year being claimed and the home must be used as their primary residence. Homeowners are only allowed to claim homestead exemption on one property.
You Must File for Homestead Exemption
If the home you purchase already had a homestead exemption from the previous owners, then you'll enjoy a lower tax bill for that first year. However, each resident must file for his/her own Homestead Exemption in order to keep those benefits. It's common for taxes to increase upon a sale, but claiming Homestead Exemption will help you realize tax savings for years to come.
I encourage all of my buyers to apply for their exemption as soon as possible to avoid any issues, but the actual deadline is March 1 of the first eligible year. Don't miss it!
Buyers who previously owned a homesteaded property can transfer their accumulated assessment savings from their old homestead to their new homestead, saving them even more money. In addition to filing the homestead form, those homeowners should additionally complete form DR- 501T -- Transfer of Homestead Assessment Different with their county property appraiser. Links here to Hillsborough County DR-501T or the Pasco County DR-501T.