In a previous article, we discussed the proposed Florida Constitutional Amendment 5, which would increase the period of time from two to three years, which accrued “Save Our Homes” benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead. On November 3rd, 2020, Amendment 5 overwhelmingly passed, with 74% of Floridians voting in favor of the change, more than the 60% needed to pass.
In Florida, homeowners can qualify for a homestead exemption on their primary residence (“Save Our Homes” benefit), reducing the taxable value of a home by as much as $50,000, which equates to about $750 in annual savings. With its passing by voters, the period of time a homestead property tax benefit can be transferred to a new homestead has been extended to three years, rather than two.
The original “Save Our Homes Amendment” was passed by Florida voters in 1992. This was in response to the real estate values skyrocketing in the early 90s as many Floridians had trouble paying their ensuing tax bills. By 2008, many people were reluctant to move because they were fearful of losing that cap. Because it was impeding the real estate market, Florida voters approved another constitutional amendment that allowed the homeowner to transfer up to a half-million dollars in accrued tax benefits from one primary home to another.
Supporters of Florida Constitutional Amendment 5 say it fixes a technical error in the intended timing of the portability of the benefit. Let’s say someone sells their home at the end of the year, November 2021. Under the previous “Save Our Homes” portable cap benefit, the homeowners would only have until December 31, 2022, to transfer their homestead benefit. Now, Amendment 5 allows everyone to have at least two full years to transfer their homestead benefit as the original “Save Our Homes” amendment intended.
If you have further questions about Florida Constitutional Amendment 5 or how it will benefit you, please contact my office. I am always ready to help you navigate any property tax-related issues.