The Seminole County Property Appraiser is charged with the responsibility of assessing all property within Seminole County fairly and equitably according to Florida law. This office does not set tax rates or determine the amount of taxes you pay. That is the responsibility of the various taxing authorities such as city and county commissions, the local school board and others.
Effective January 1, 1995, the annual increase in value for residential property with a homestead exemption is limited by constitutional amendment approved by the voters. State laws and regulations have been put into force to implement this limit.
The Save Our Homes Amendment, (sometimes referred to as Amendment 10) became effective January 1, 1995 as an amendment to the Florida Constitution.
It was voted upon and passed by a Florida citizen’s initiative on November 3, 1992. The amendment stated that the annual assessment of homestead property shall not exceed the lower of either three percent (3%) of the assessment for the prior year or the percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
This amendment does not apply to non-homestead property (such as residences without homestead, vacant land, or non-residential property), agricultural, tangible personal property as well as homestead property that has sold or otherwise been conveyed to a new owner during the calendar year.
What properties are not subject to Save Our Homes?
Only homestead property that remains under the same ownership during the calendar year qualifies for the limitation.
A buyer purchasing after January 1st shall inherit the benefit of the seller’s homestead for the current year. This results in a tax bill not too different from the previous year. However, when the property is reassessed on January 1st of the year following the purchase, and the tax bill arrives in November of that year, the Save Our Homes Cap has been removed and the new owner will see a substantial increase from what the previous owner paid.
How do I qualify for the benefit of Save Our Homes?
The new owner(s) MUST apply for homestead exemption. If the new owner applies for and receives homestead exemption, then the new owner’s Save Our Homes Cap on increases will commence for the year following the homestead exemption approval.
What happens if the property is sold?
A change in title could cause the Save Our Homes Cap to be removed and as of January 1st following the date of the transfer a reassessment will occur with a substantial increase in the following November bill. You must re-apply for homestead if you change the deed. Parents who add their children to the title of real property in an effort to avoid probate might experience an increase in property tax. Contact your attorney for the proper wording for the new deed to assure the continuation of the homestead and Save Our Homes Cap.
What about any improvements or additions to the property?
The full market value of physical alterations to the property such as additions or improvements (not including normal maintenance) will be added to the property’s assessment after the Save Our Homes Cap has been applied to the qualifying homestead property.
If you have further questions regarding Save Our Homes call 407.665.7506