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Myke Triebold, GRI, LMC

Certified Military Specialist

By Myke Triebold | Agent in Destin, FL

Homestead Exemption for Okaloosa County Residents--Apply NOW!


HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION INFORMATION

What is the Homestead Exemption? Every person who owns and resides on real property in Okaloosa, Florida on January 1 and makes the property their permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes. This represents a substantial savings on the taxes levied against your property by the various taxing authorities.Pursuant to the Florida Constitution Section # 6 (b), Florida Statutes 196.031 (6) & Florida Administrative Code 12D7.012 (1,2 & 3) You as an individual & family unit are only entitled to one homestead tax exemption unless a separate family unit has been established under the law. To insure that you have all of the required documents for filing an exemption, please click here to print the Homestead Checklist or go under the Forms Download tab on our homepage and print out the checklist.

Why file? Homestead exemption can save you approximately $600 to $650 per year on your annual ad valorem taxes. An additional benefit to the homestead exemption is Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes), which will "cap" your property's assessed value the year following your established first year of homestead exemption.

Who May File: Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in Florida and who has recorded the title instrument in the public records of the county where application is made. The applicant must reside on the property as of January 1st and must in good faith, make it their permanent residence to be eligible.

When to File: Exemption applications must be made no later than March 1st for the tax year applied for. Failure to make application by March 1st of the tax year shall constitute a waiver of the exemption privilege for that year. Homestead exemption applications may be filed after March 1st, but the exemption will be applied in the next tax year.

Where to Apply: Property Appraiser's Office, 73 Eglin Parkway NE Suite 202, Fort Walton Beach; or Property Appraiser's Office, Okaloosa County Courthouse, 101 E. James Lee Blvd., Room 104, Crestview.

First Time Applicants: First-time applicants must come in person to file their application and bring ALL supporting documentation in order to start the application.. However, the application and required supporting documentation must be brought to one of the two above listed locations. Only one signature is required for joint owners who are married with the same last name; however, all documentation listed below must be provided on all applications. All signatures are necessary if owners who occupy the home have different last names.

The Following Information Is Required to apply for ANY exemption: (click here for full checklist) :
1. One of the following: recorded warranty deed, last tax bill, printout from our website of your property, closing documentation.
2. Florida Driver License reflecting current Florida residential address (change of address must be prior to January 1st): all joint owners who reside on the property need Florida Driver Licenses. (VALID IN FLORIDA ONLY LICENSES ARE NOT SUFFICIENT).
3. Florida Vehicle Registrations reflecting current Florida residential address (change of address must be prior to January 1st). All vehicles owned by the applicants must have resident Florida registrations. Leased vehicles and nonresident registrations CANNOT be accepted. NOTE: Non-resident military registrations MUST be switched to FL resident registrations, as military members must also comply with the residency requirements for exemption purposes.
4. Social Security numbers are required for all owners listed on the deed. Owners must bring in something that verifies their number; social security card, medicare card, military ID card or most recent Income tax return filed with IRS.
5. Declaration of Domicile or Florida Voter Registration Card reflecting current residential address. If an owner does not have a car registered in their name, one of these documents will be required as proof of residency.

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