The best way to reduce your property taxes is to file for all exemptions you qualify for.

The most popular exemption is the homestead exemption, which can be claimed by owners at their primary residence.

The homestead exemption reduces the home’s assessed value by $25,000, and by another $25,000 from non-school related property taxes.

Homeowners who receive the homestead exemption also benefit from the Save Our Homes assessment limitation (cap), which caps increases in assessed value by 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. So, even if you own a home in a quickly appreciating real estate market, your tax liability is limited (unless one of your local government bodies increases millage rates).

There are other property tax exemptions available in Florida for persons 65 and older, veterans, and persons with disabilities. In Florida, property owners age 65 or older can qualify for an additional homestead exemption deduction worth up to $50,000 if the property being taxed is the permanent residence and their income is no higher than $20,000 annually. The amount of the exemption is determined by the county commissioners office. Some counties also require that the property value does not exceed $250,000 and has been the preeminent place of residence for 25 years or more to qualify for the exemption.

Veterans exemptions in Florida operate differently than persons 65 and older exemptions. There are a few different exemptions that veterans and their families can use to get reductions on their property taxes. While active duty service members do not get specific property tax exemptions, they are able to use their homestead property as a rental property without forfeiting their homestead status. Military veterans who were honorably discharged, are a resident of Florida, and have a VA rated disability level of 10% or higher caused by injuries sustained during wartime can be eligible for a $5,000 reduction on the assessed value of their property. This exemption is not limited to homestead properties. Florida residents that are honorably discharged veterans with service-related total and permanent disability may be eligible for total exemption from ad valorem taxes on property they own and use as their homestead.

The state of Florida offers some of the largest property tax exemptions for people with disabilities in the United States. You can find out more about these exemptions on the Florida Department of Revenue website.

Additionally, there is a Non-Homestead Cap that ensures that even non-homesteaded property assessment value can not increase by more than 10% of the previous year's assessed value, regardless of the property's market value. This 10% cap ensures that even non-homesteaded properties assessment value can not increase by more than 10% of the previous year's assessed value, regardless of the property’s market value. Qualified non-homesteaded properties in applicable counties are granted this 10% cap automatically. However, this cap only applies to non-school board assessed values.

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