Know Your Future Real Estate Taxes – Before You Buy!

Every year, your property is re-assessed on January 1st, and the dollar
amount will be different than the previous years assessed value.
That is a fact.

When you buy a home, you inherit the previous owner’s taxes, until you get
re-assessed on January 1st of the next year. On November 1st of the next year, your
new tax amount is due. So if you buy a home in 2014, your real estate taxes will not
change until November 1st, 2015. If you get an FHA or VA loan, or if you escrow for
taxes and insurance, December of the following year is when your monthly payment

How Much Will The Real Estate Taxes Be?
3 EZ Steps to Estimate Your Future Real Estate Taxes

Click here to go to Broward County’s “Homebuyer’s Tax Estimator”
Enter the desired purchase price. Click the homestead box (if applicable) and
any other applicable deduction.
Scroll down and you will see your estimated future taxes.

That number will be your future ESTIMATED real estate taxes. As long as you file for
homestead, your Assessed Value will not increase more than 3% per year.

Taxes for current owners with homestead exemption will have a cap increase of 3%.
Investment property will cap out at 10%. And new homeowners will be re-assessed
according to the new purchase price (except for foreclosures and short sales—re-
assessed at market value)

Do some cities have higher real estate taxes than other cities?
You bet! But it usually works totally opposite than what people think. The cities where
the prices are the highest will have the lowest mileage rate and vice-versa. For
example, Weston, Lighthouse Point and Parkland are the most inexpensive cities in
Broward, and Lauderdale Lakes and Lauderhill have the most expensive taxes.

How Much Will My Monthly Payment Change?
Only for VA or FHA

A portion of your mortgage monthly payment goes towards the taxes that are going to
be paid in November. So when the mortgage company goes to pay the taxes, they will
be either short, on target, or over with the amount of money they have collected from

The shortage or overage will depend on the difference between the new and old real
estate taxes. If you are over, they will most likely send you a check for the difference,
and your monthly payment will decrease by the difference divided by 12. If you are
short, you will have to send them a check to cover the difference, and your monthly
payment will increase based on the shortage divided by 12.

Example: New Taxes are $4,800.00

a) Previous Owner taxes were $7,500.00. They will most likely send you a check for
$2,700.00, and your monthly payment will decrease by $225.00. You will have to ask
your lender to send you the check.

b) Previous Owner taxes were $2,500.00. You must send a check for $2,300.00 and
your monthly payment will increase by $192.00. Your lender will ask you for the check.
Filing for Homestead and Other Exemptions

All legal Florida residents are eligible for a Homestead Exemption on their homes,
condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots if they qualify. The
Florida Constitution provides this tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of
the assessed value of an owner/occupied residence. While a complicated formula is
used to explain this — as the additional $25,000 only applies to the non-schools portion
of your tax bill — the bottom line is that the basic homestead exemption saved a
Broward homeowner in 2011 anywhere from $648 to $1,147 (depending upon your
city’s millage rate) in annual tax savings for all homes with a value of $75,000 or higher.

You are entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st, you have made the
property your permanent home or the permanent home of a person who is legally or
naturally dependent on you. By law, January 1 of each year is the date on which
permanent residence is determined. You may file for Homestead online, or you may file
by visiting our office or at any of our community outreach events held throughout

The timely filing period for Homestead Exemption for 2012 was March 2, 2011 through
March 1, 2012. The absolute deadline to LATE FILE for any 2012 exemption — if you
missed the March 1, 2012 timely filing deadline — is September 18, 2012. State law
(Sec. 196.011(8), Fla. Stat.) does not allow late filing for exemptions after this date,
regardless of any good cause reason for missing the late filing deadline.

What You Need When Filing for Homestead

When filing an application you must bring the following items listed below. To claim
100% coverage, all owners occupying the property as Tenants in Common (i.e.,
proportional share co-owners) must file in person on jointly held property. In the case of
a husband/wife (“Tenants by the Entirety”) or Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship
(“JTRS”), any one owner may qualify for 100% coverage — although it is always highly
advisable to have all eligible owner-occupants to file.

1. Proof of Ownership: In general, the recorded Deed or Co-op Proprietary Lease must
be held in the name(s) of the individuals applying for Homestead. You do not need to
bring a copy of the deed or co-op lease if the document has already been recorded in
the Official Records of Broward County. If the PROPERTY IS HELD IN A TRUST, WE
COPY OF THE TRUST AGREEMENT. Note: Most taxpayers prefer to use the simple
Certificate of Trust form, instead of submitting the entire trust for our review, as it better
protects the privacy of your estate planning and other financial matters.

2. Proof of Permanent Florida Residence — preferably dated prior to January 1 of the
tax year for which you are filing — is established in the form of:
A. FOR ALL APPLICANTS: Florida’s Driver’s License (or — for non-drivers only — a
Florida I.D. Card) is REQUIRED. Note: You must surrender to DMV any out-of-state
regular driver’s license. You MUST also have either of the following:
1. Florida Voter’s Registration; or
2. Recorded Declaration of Domicile.
B.FOR NON-US CITIZENS, you MUST have the items listed above AND proof of
permanent residency, asylum/parolee status (or other “PRUCOL” status).

3. If you or your married spouse have a Homestead Exemption in any other county,
state or country (or an equivalent permanent residency-based exemption or tax credit,
such as New York’s “S.T.A.R.” exemption) on another property you also currently own,
you will NOT be eligible for a homestead in Broward until after you surrender the
exemption in that other jurisdiction.

The State-approved application form requests certain information for all owners living
on the premises and filing:
• Current employers of all owners
• Addresses listed on last I.R.S. income tax returns.
• Date of each owner’s permanent Florida residence.
• Date of occupancy for each property owner.
• Social Security numbers of all owners filing.
• Social Security number of any married spouse of the applicant, even if the
spouse is not named in the deed and is not filing).

Note: The amount of the homestead exemption protection granted to an owner residing
on a particular property is to be applied against the amount of that person’s interest in
the property. This provision is limited in that the proportional amount of the homestead
exemption allowed any person shall not exceed the proportionate assessed valuation
based on the interest owned by the person. For example, assuming a property valued
at $40,000, with the residing owner’s interest in the property being $20,000, then
$20,000 of the homestead exemption is all that can be applied to that property. If there
are multiple owners, all as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the owner living at
property filing receives the full exemption.

Other Exemptions

Widows, widowers, permanently disabled persons, and qualified senior citizens on fixed-
incomes are entitled to additional tax-saving exemptions. With the exception of the
$5,000 Veteran’s Disability Exemption and the Historic Property Exemption, a
Homestead Exemption is required by law as a pre-condition for obtaining any of the
following additional exemptions:

$500 Disability Exemption: One letter or certificate from a Florida-licensed physician
stating that you are totally and permanently disabled.

$500 Widows/Widower’s Exemption: Spouse’s death certificate, newspaper clipping
or memorial card.

Additional $25,000 Low-Income Senior Exemption: Filing period is January 1
through March 1 of each year. Applicant must be 65 years of age or older as of
January 1 (even if other household members are under age 65) and the total
household adjusted gross income for last year (2011) must not exceed $27,030. This
exemption must be applied for annually (and the annual renewal process is fast and
easy). For additional information, please click here.

$5,000 Veteran’s Disability Exemption: A copy of your Certificate of Disability from
the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (or its predecessor
agency). The disability must be military service-related and incurred during a period of
wartime service or by misfortune. The service-related disability must be to a degree of
at least 10% before January 1. The surviving spouse of an eligible disabled veteran
may also claim this exemption, provided he/she has not remarried. Note: The veteran
must be a permanent resident of the State of Florida. For surviving spouses, the
deceased veteran must have been a permanent resident of Florida at the time of
his/her death.

Full Exemption for Veteran’s Service-Connected Total and Permanent
Disability: A certificate from the US Government or US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Any honorably discharged veteran with a service-connected total and permanent
disability, surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and spouses of Florida resident
veterans who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of
the US Armed forces are entitled to an exemption on real estate used and owned as a

Deployed Military Exemption: US military documentation which clearly shows the
applicant’s dates of active duty military service deployed outside the United States
during the immediate prior year in support of one of the designated military operations
(Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn,
Operation Noble Eagle or Operation Odyssey Dawn). This exemption requires the
holder to submit new supporting documentation each year to retain these valuable
savings. This exemption grants total exemption to an additional percentage of your
assessed value, based upon the percent of the prior year you were deployed overseas
in support of one of the specified military operations.

Additional Exemption for Combat-Wounded Florida Disabled Veterans: This
exemption provides a additional discount from the amount of property taxes on the
homestead of a partially or totally permanently disabled veteran, age 65 or older as of
January 1, who was a Florida resident at the time of entering military service, and
whose disability was combat-related. Under this new law, a veteran will receive a total
exemption from property taxes equal to the percentage of combat-related disability
(example: a 60% combat-related disability would exempt 60% of the total value of the
homesteaded residence from ad valorem property taxes). Please provide us with
documented proof your disability was combat related (i.e., copy of Purple Heart Medal
award paperwork), a certificate from the US Government or US Department of Veterans
Affairs attesting to the percentage of your permanent disability, and documentary proof
you were a Florida resident when you entered the military. Note: Florida law does not
provide for a surviving spouse exemption in this category.

$500 Disability Exemption for Blind Persons: A certificate from the Division of Blind
Services of the Department of Education or the United States Department of Veterans
Affairs certifying the applicant to be blind is required.

Full Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled Persons: Certificates from
two licensed doctors of this state or a certificate from the US Department of Veterans
Affairs. To be entitled to this exemption, you must be a (1) quadriplegic or (2)
paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person who must use
a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind. For persons entitled to this exemption
under number two (2) above, the prior year (2011) gross income of all persons residing
in or upon the homestead shall not exceed $26,350. This amount is adjusted annually
and a statement of gross income must accompany the application.

“Granny Flat” Exemption – Taxpayers who build additions onto an existing
Homestead or perform extensive renovations to an existing Homestead to provide living
quarters for a parent or grandparent may be entitled to a special exemption equal to
the amount of the new construction (up to 20% of the homestead value). To be eligible,
the property owner must have a Homestead Exemption on the property where the
parent or grandparent quarters are constructed. The construction or reconstruction
must be properly permitted and comply with all local land development regulations.
Copies of all permits, certificate of occupancy, and plans must be submitted to the
Property Appraiser’s Office. Construction or reconstruction must be substantially
complete before January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. Application
must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s Office annually on or before March 1st of
each year. The occupant(s) of the quarters must be a parent or grandparent. The
occupant(s) must be at least 62 years of age by January 1st of the year in which the
reduction is requested. The occupant(s) must permanently reside on the property on or
before January 1st. of the year in which the reduction is requested. The occupant(s)
cannot receive any benefits requiring a declaration of permanent residency on any
other property in any other County or State. The Broward County Property Appraiser’s
Office will conduct a site visit annually upon review and prior to approval of the
application for assessment reduction. You may download the Granny Flat application
here (PDF format).

Historic Property Exemption – Is your property on the National or Florida Registers
of Historic Properties? Then, under certain circumstance, you may be entitled to some
special exemptions related to your assessed value. Click here (for historic properties in
general) and here (for historic properties open to the public) to read the applicable
statutes. Click here to download the historic property exemption application form (PDF

Non-Profit, Religious, Educational & Governmental Exemptions – Click here to
learn more.

Homestead Exemptions are NOT Transferable … But You Can Move Your Savings with
Portability AND a new Homestead Application. Homestead Exemption does not transfer
from property to property. If you had this exemption last year on another property and
moved, you must file a new application for your new residence. Notify the Property
Appraiser to cancel the exemptions on your former home. The sellers’ exemptions will
not carry over beyond the year of the sale: you MUST apply for your own exemptions

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