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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 193
ASSESSMENTS
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F.S. 193.155
1193.155 Homestead assessments.Homestead property shall be assessed at just value as of January 1, 1994. Property receiving the homestead exemption after January 1, 1994, shall be assessed at just value as of January 1 of the year in which the property receives the exemption unless the provisions of subsection (8) apply.
(1) Beginning in 1995, or the year following the year the property receives homestead exemption, whichever is later, the property shall be reassessed annually on January 1. Any change resulting from such reassessment shall not exceed the lower of the following:
(a) Three percent of the assessed value of the property for the prior year; or
(b) The percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, all items 1967=100, or successor reports for the preceding calendar year as initially reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(2) If the assessed value of the property as calculated under subsection (1) exceeds the just value, the assessed value of the property shall be lowered to the just value of the property.
(3)(a) Except as provided in this subsection or subsection (8), property assessed under this section shall be assessed at just value as of January 1 of the year following a change of ownership. Thereafter, the annual changes in the assessed value of the property are subject to the limitations in subsections (1) and (2). For the purpose of this section, a change of ownership means any sale, foreclosure, or transfer of legal title or beneficial title in equity to any person, except if:
1. Subsequent to the change or transfer, the same person is entitled to the homestead exemption as was previously entitled and:
a. The transfer of title is to correct an error;
b. The transfer is between legal and equitable title or equitable and equitable title and no additional person applies for a homestead exemption on the property;
c. The change or transfer is by means of an instrument in which the owner is listed as both grantor and grantee of the real property and one or more other individuals are additionally named as grantee. However, if any individual who is additionally named as a grantee applies for a homestead exemption on the property, the application is considered a change of ownership; or
d. The person is a lessee entitled to the homestead exemption under s. 196.041(1).
2. Legal or equitable title is changed or transferred between husband and wife, including a change or transfer to a surviving spouse or a transfer due to a dissolution of marriage;
3. The transfer occurs by operation of law to the surviving spouse or minor child or children under s. 732.401; or
4. Upon the death of the owner, the transfer is between the owner and another who is a permanent resident and who is legally or naturally dependent upon the owner.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, a leasehold interest that qualifies for the homestead exemption under s. 196.031 or s. 196.041 shall be treated as an equitable interest in the property.
(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) and s. 193.624, changes, additions, or improvements to homestead property shall be assessed at just value as of the first January 1 after the changes, additions, or improvements are substantially completed.
(b) Changes, additions, or improvements that replace all or a portion of homestead property damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity shall not increase the homestead property’s assessed value when the square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 110 percent of the square footage of the homestead property before the damage or destruction. Additionally, the homestead property’s assessed value shall not increase if the total square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 1,500 square feet. Changes, additions, or improvements that do not cause the total to exceed 110 percent of the total square footage of the homestead property before the damage or destruction or that do not cause the total to exceed 1,500 total square feet shall be reassessed as provided under subsection (1). The homestead property’s assessed value shall be increased by the just value of that portion of the changed or improved homestead property which is in excess of 110 percent of the square footage of the homestead property before the damage or destruction or of that portion exceeding 1,500 square feet. Homestead property damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity which, after being changed or improved, has a square footage of less than 100 percent of the homestead property’s total square footage before the damage or destruction shall be assessed pursuant to subsection (5). This paragraph applies to changes, additions, or improvements commenced within 3 years after the January 1 following the damage or destruction of the homestead.
(c) Changes, additions, or improvements that replace all or a portion of real property that was damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity shall be assessed upon substantial completion as if such damage or destruction had not occurred and in accordance with paragraph (b) if the owner of such property:
1. Was permanently residing on such property when the damage or destruction occurred;
2. Was not entitled to receive homestead exemption on such property as of January 1 of that year; and
3. Applies for and receives homestead exemption on such property the following year.
(d) Changes, additions, or improvements include improvements made to common areas or other improvements made to property other than to the homestead property by the owner or by an owner association, which improvements directly benefit the homestead property. Such changes, additions, or improvements shall be assessed at just value, and the just value shall be apportioned among the parcels benefiting from the improvement.
(5) When property is destroyed or removed and not replaced, the assessed value of the parcel shall be reduced by the assessed value attributable to the destroyed or removed property.
(6) Only property that receives a homestead exemption is subject to this section. No portion of property that is assessed solely on the basis of character or use pursuant to s. 193.461 or s. 193.501, or assessed pursuant to s. 193.505, is subject to this section. When property is assessed under s. 193.461, s. 193.501, or s. 193.505 and contains a residence under the same ownership, the portion of the property consisting of the residence and curtilage must be assessed separately, pursuant to s. 193.011, for the assessment to be subject to the limitation in this section.
(7) If a person received a homestead exemption limited to that person’s proportionate interest in real property, the provisions of this section apply only to that interest.
2(8) Property assessed under this section shall be assessed at less than just value when the person who establishes a new homestead has received a homestead exemption as of January 1 of either of the 2 immediately preceding years. A person who establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2008, is entitled to have the new homestead assessed at less than just value only if that person received a homestead exemption on January 1, 2007, and only if this subsection applies retroactive to January 1, 2008. For purposes of this subsection, a husband and wife who owned and both permanently resided on a previous homestead shall each be considered to have received the homestead exemption even though only the husband or the wife applied for the homestead exemption on the previous homestead. The assessed value of the newly established homestead shall be determined as provided in this subsection.
(a) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 is greater than or equal to the just value of the immediate prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the immediate prior homestead was abandoned, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be the just value of the new homestead minus an amount equal to the lesser of $500,000 or the difference between the just value and the assessed value of the immediate prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the prior homestead was abandoned. Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as provided in this section.
(b) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 is less than the just value of the immediate prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the immediate prior homestead was abandoned, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be equal to the just value of the new homestead divided by the just value of the immediate prior homestead and multiplied by the assessed value of the immediate prior homestead. However, if the difference between the just value of the new homestead and the assessed value of the new homestead calculated pursuant to this paragraph is greater than $500,000, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be increased so that the difference between the just value and the assessed value equals $500,000. Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as provided in this section.
(c) If two or more persons who have each received a homestead exemption as of January 1 of either of the 2 immediately preceding years and who would otherwise be eligible to have a new homestead property assessed under this subsection establish a single new homestead, the reduction from just value is limited to the higher of the difference between the just value and the assessed value of either of the prior eligible homesteads as of January 1 of the year in which either of the eligible prior homesteads was abandoned, but may not exceed $500,000.
(d) If two or more persons abandon jointly owned and jointly titled property that received a homestead exemption as of January 1 of either of the 2 immediately preceding years, and one or more such persons who were entitled to and received a homestead exemption on the abandoned property establish a new homestead that would otherwise be eligible for assessment under this subsection, each such person establishing a new homestead is entitled to a reduction from just value for the new homestead equal to the just value of the prior homestead minus the assessed value of the prior homestead divided by the number of owners of the prior homestead who received a homestead exemption, unless the title of the property contains specific ownership shares, in which case the share of reduction from just value shall be proportionate to the ownership share. In the case of a husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property, the husband and wife may designate the ownership share to be attributed to each spouse by following the procedure in paragraph (f). To qualify to make such a designation, the husband and wife must be married on the date that the jointly owned property is abandoned. In calculating the assessment reduction to be transferred from a prior homestead that has an assessment reduction for living quarters of parents or grandparents pursuant to s. 193.703, the value calculated pursuant to s. 193.703(6) must first be added back to the assessed value of the prior homestead. The total reduction from just value for all new homesteads established under this paragraph may not exceed $500,000. There shall be no reduction from just value of any new homestead unless the prior homestead is reassessed at just value or is reassessed under this subsection as of January 1 after the abandonment occurs.
(e) If one or more persons who previously owned a single homestead and each received the homestead exemption qualify for a new homestead where all persons who qualify for homestead exemption in the new homestead also qualified for homestead exemption in the previous homestead without an additional person qualifying for homestead exemption in the new homestead, the reduction in just value shall be calculated pursuant to paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), without application of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d).
(f) A husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property who wish to designate the ownership share to be attributed to each person for purposes of paragraph (d) must file a form provided by the department with the property appraiser in the county where such property is located. The form must include a sworn statement by each person designating the ownership share to be attributed to each person for purposes of paragraph (d) and must be filed prior to either person filing the form required under paragraph (h) to have a parcel of property assessed under this subsection. Such a designation, once filed with the property appraiser, is irrevocable.
(g) For purposes of receiving an assessment reduction pursuant to this subsection, a person entitled to assessment under this section may abandon his or her homestead even though it remains his or her primary residence by notifying the property appraiser of the county where the homestead is located. This notification must be in writing and delivered at the same time as or before timely filing a new application for homestead exemption on the property.
(h) In order to have his or her homestead property assessed under this subsection, a person must file a form provided by the department as an attachment to the application for homestead exemption, including a copy of the form required to be filed under paragraph (f), if applicable. The form, which must include a sworn statement attesting to the applicant’s entitlement to assessment under this subsection, shall be considered sufficient documentation for applying for assessment under this subsection. The department shall require by rule that the required form be submitted with the application for homestead exemption under the timeframes and processes set forth in chapter 196 to the extent practicable.
(i)1. If the previous homestead was located in a different county than the new homestead, the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located must transmit a copy of the completed form together with a completed application for homestead exemption to the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located. If the previous homesteads of applicants for transfer were in more than one county, each applicant from a different county must submit a separate form.
2. The property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located must return information to the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located by April 1 or within 2 weeks after receipt of the completed application from that property appraiser, whichever is later. As part of the information returned, the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located must provide sufficient information concerning the previous homestead to allow the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located to calculate the amount of the assessment limitation difference which may be transferred and must certify whether the previous homestead was abandoned and has been or will be reassessed at just value or reassessed according to the provisions of this subsection as of the January 1 following its abandonment.
3. Based on the information provided on the form from the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located, the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located shall calculate the amount of the assessment limitation difference which may be transferred and apply the difference to the January 1 assessment of the new homestead.
4. All property appraisers having information-sharing agreements with the department are authorized to share confidential tax information with each other pursuant to s. 195.084, including social security numbers and linked information on the forms provided pursuant to this section.
5. The transfer of any limitation is not final until any values on the assessment roll on which the transfer is based are final. If such values are final after tax notice bills have been sent, the property appraiser shall make appropriate corrections and a corrected tax notice bill shall be sent. Any values that are under administrative or judicial review shall be noticed to the tribunal or court for accelerated hearing and resolution so that the intent of this subsection may be carried out.
6. If the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located has not provided information sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the assessment limitation difference is transferable, the taxpayer may file an action in circuit court in that county seeking to establish that the property appraiser must provide such information.
7. If the information from the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located is provided after the procedures in this section are exercised, the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located shall make appropriate corrections and a corrected tax notice and tax bill shall be sent.
8. This subsection does not authorize the consideration or adjustment of the just, assessed, or taxable value of the previous homestead property.
9. The property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located shall promptly notify a taxpayer if the information received, or available, is insufficient to identify the previous homestead and the amount of the assessment limitation difference which is transferable. Such notification shall be sent on or before July 1 as specified in s. 196.151.
10. The taxpayer may correspond with the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located to further seek to identify the homestead and the amount of the assessment limitation difference which is transferable.
11. If the property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead was located supplies sufficient information to the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located, such information shall be considered timely if provided in time for inclusion on the notice of proposed property taxes sent pursuant to ss. 194.011 and 200.065(1).
12. If the property appraiser has not received information sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the amount of the assessment limitation difference which is transferable before mailing the notice of proposed property taxes, the taxpayer may file a petition with the value adjustment board in the county where the new homestead is located.
(j) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property assessed under this subsection and who fails to file an application by March 1 may file an application for assessment under this subsection and may, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), file a petition with the value adjustment board requesting that an assessment under this subsection be granted. Such petition may be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the notice by the property appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 194.013, such person must pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon filing the petition. Upon reviewing the petition, if the person is qualified to receive the assessment under this subsection and demonstrates particular extenuating circumstances judged by the property appraiser or the value adjustment board to warrant granting the assessment, the property appraiser or the value adjustment board may grant an assessment under this subsection. For the 2008 assessments, all petitioners for assessment under this subsection shall be considered to have demonstrated particular extenuating circumstances.
(k) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property assessed under this subsection and who fails to timely file an application for his or her new homestead in the first year following eligibility may file in a subsequent year. The assessment reduction shall be applied to assessed value in the year the transfer is first approved, and refunds of tax may not be made for previous years.
(l) The property appraisers of the state shall, as soon as practicable after March 1 of each year and on or before July 1 of that year, carefully consider all applications for assessment under this subsection which have been filed in their respective offices on or before March 1 of that year. If, upon investigation, the property appraiser finds that the applicant is entitled to assessment under this subsection, the property appraiser shall make such entries upon the tax rolls of the county as are necessary to allow the assessment. If, after due consideration, the property appraiser finds that the applicant is not entitled to the assessment under this subsection, the property appraiser shall immediately prepare a notice of such disapproval, giving his or her reasons therefor, and a copy of the notice must be served upon the applicant by the property appraiser by personal delivery or by registered mail to the post office address given by the applicant. The applicant may appeal the decision of the property appraiser refusing to allow the assessment under this subsection to the value adjustment board, and the board shall review the application and evidence presented to the property appraiser upon which the applicant based the claim and hear the applicant in person or by agent on behalf of his or her right to such assessment. Such appeal shall be heard by an attorney special magistrate if the value adjustment board uses special magistrates. The value adjustment board shall reverse the decision of the property appraiser in the cause and grant assessment under this subsection to the applicant if, in its judgment, the applicant is entitled to the assessment or shall affirm the decision of the property appraiser. The action of the board is final in the cause unless the applicant, within 60 days following the date of refusal of the application by the board, files in the circuit court of the county in which the homestead is located a proceeding against the property appraiser for a declaratory judgment as is provided under chapter 86 or other appropriate proceeding. The failure of the taxpayer to appear before the property appraiser or value adjustment board or to file any paper other than the application as provided in this subsection does not constitute a bar to or defense in the proceedings.
(9) Erroneous assessments of homestead property assessed under this section may be corrected in the following manner:
(a) If errors are made in arriving at any assessment under this section due to a material mistake of fact concerning an essential characteristic of the property, the just value and assessed value must be recalculated for every such year, including the year in which the mistake occurred.
(b) If changes, additions, or improvements are not assessed at just value as of the first January 1 after they were substantially completed, the property appraiser shall determine the just value for such changes, additions, or improvements for the year they were substantially completed. Assessments for subsequent years shall be corrected, applying this section if applicable.
(c) If back taxes are due pursuant to s. 193.092, the corrections made pursuant to this subsection shall be used to calculate such back taxes.
(10) If the property appraiser determines that for any year or years within the prior 10 years a person who was not entitled to the homestead property assessment limitation granted under this section was granted the homestead property assessment limitation, the property appraiser making such determination shall serve upon the owner a notice of intent to record in the public records of the county a notice of tax lien against any property owned by that person in the county, and such property must be identified in the notice of tax lien. Such property that is situated in this state is subject to the unpaid taxes, plus a penalty of 50 percent of the unpaid taxes for each year and 15 percent interest per annum. However, when a person entitled to exemption pursuant to s. 196.031 inadvertently receives the limitation pursuant to this section following a change of ownership, the assessment of such property must be corrected as provided in paragraph (9)(a), and the person need not pay the unpaid taxes, penalties, or interest. Before a lien may be filed, the person or entity so notified must be given 30 days to pay the taxes and any applicable penalties and interest. If the property appraiser improperly grants the property assessment limitation as a result of a clerical mistake or an omission, the person or entity improperly receiving the property assessment limitation may not be assessed a penalty or interest.
History.s. 62, ch. 94-353; s. 5, ch. 2001-137; s. 1, ch. 2006-38; s. 1, ch. 2006-311; s. 5, ch. 2007-339; s. 3, ch. 2008-173; s. 1, ch. 2010-109; s. 5, ch. 2012-193; s. 4, ch. 2013-72; s. 2, ch. 2013-77; s. 5, ch. 2016-128.
1Note.Section 1, ch. 2007-339, provides that:

“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.

“(2) In anticipation of implementing this act, the executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of making necessary changes and preparations so that forms, methods, and data records, electronic or otherwise, are ready and in place if sections 3 through 9 and sections 10, 12, and 14 . . . of this act become law.

“(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 18 months after the date of adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”

2Note.Section 13, ch. 2008-173, provides that:

“(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.

“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 18 months after the date of adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”