If you’ve owned your home in Florida for more than a few years, you might be interested in how to transfer your property’s homestead. The Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution provided several cost saving measures for Florida homeowners. The first part of the amendment prevents the assessed value of your homesteaded property from increasing more than 3% per year, or the percentage change of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. Additionally, after 2008, the Save Our Homes Amendment allows a homeowner to “port” or transfer their tax benefits to their new home (as long as the new homestead was established within two (2) years of abandoning their previous homestead).
Here’s how Florida’s Homestead Portability works:
- If you are upsizing your home (moving to a home of equal or greater value) the formula for determining the amount you can port (up to $500,000 in capped value) is the Certified Market Value of your existing homesteaded property minus the Certified Assessed Value of existing homesteaded property.
- If you are downsizing your home (moving to a home of lesser value) the formula for the assessed value of the new homestead is the Market Value of new homestead divided by Market Value of prior homestead multiplied by the Assessed Value of prior homestead.
If you want to apply for this portability in St. Johns County, you must fill out a “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference” form when you file your application for the new homestead exemption. These forms can be found via the Property Appraiser’s Office. If you do not qualify for some reason, the Property Appraiser will notify you via mail.
To find more information regarding the Save Our Homes benefits, please visit the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s Office. If you are moving elsewhere in Florida, check with the Property Appraiser in your new county for instructions.