The Florida Constitution provides the benefit of homestead exemption to reduce the property tax burden of Florida citizens who use their property as their primary residence. In Clay County, the $50,000 homestead exemption saves qualified residents over $550 in taxes per year. Additionally, the cumulative benefits accrued by having assessments capped each year under the provisions of the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution benefits qualified residents by reducing their tax burden by hundreds of dollars more.
The penalties for claiming exemption when you are not eligible are severe. According to Sections 193.155 (9) and 196.161 of the Florida Statutes, owners who are not entitled to a homestead and other exemptions will have a tax lien placed against their properties, be back taxed for up to 10 years (as applicable), be required to pay a substantial penalty (50% of the unpaid taxes for each year) and pay an interest rate of 15% per year.
All of us have an interest in protecting our homestead exemption benefits. If you have information about someone receiving a homestead exemption and is not entitled to said exemption, please call or use the following form.