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Property Appraiser Q&A on Homestead Exemptions

Property appraisal tax rules vary by county, but they’re similar. A Q&A with the Citrus County property appraiser offers insight about a sometimes confusing concept.

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – Question: “Does my spouse need to apply for Homestead even though they’re not listed on the deed?”

Answer: If you guessed yes, you are right!

Married couples can claim only one Homestead Property Tax Exemption. If both of you currently own a homesteaded property, either in Florida or anywhere else in the United States, one of the exemptions will need to be removed no later than Jan. 1 of the year after you are married.

Failure to notify our office could cause you to not only lose your Homestead Exemption, but you may also be subject to back assessment liens, penalties, and interest.

Question: “Will the property taxes on my home that I just purchased be what I pay every year?”

Answer: Property taxes may be affected with change in ownership. When buying real estate property, you should not assume that property taxes will remain the same. Whenever there is a change in ownership, the assessed value of the property will reset to full market value, which could result in higher property taxes. Homestead exemptions and agricultural classifications are not transferable to the new owner. You must apply for your own exemptions and agricultural classifications.

Question: “Can I co-own a home with my adult child and we both claim homestead exemptions on our own homes?”

Answer: With the high cost of purchasing a home these days, many parents are “co-owning” properties with their adult children. With that, parents can have homestead exemption on their home, and the adult child can also have homestead exemption on the home they co-own with their parents. There are multiple stipulations with this way of homeownership.

Question: “If my land is already zoned for agriculture, will it automatically receive an agricultural classification by the Property Appraiser?”

Answer: No. Land that is “zoned for agriculture” does not receive an automatic agricultural classification from the Property Appraiser. Zoning and Agricultural Classification for taxation are not one and the same. If you purchase land that is “zoned for agriculture,” you will still have to apply for Agricultural Classification through the Property Appraiser’s Office. The filing period for an agricultural classification is between Jan. 1 and March 1 of each year. There is no guarantee that land will receive agricultural classification for taxation, regardless of its zoning.

Question: “How do I know if a member of the Property Appraiser’s office is at my property?”

Answer: That is a great question, with an easy answer. We know that most homes nowadays have security cameras, so we want to make sure that we are recognized by the public. All of our staff that are out in the field – whether it be a field appraiser, agricultural specialist, commercial appraiser, customer service representative, or a TPP specialist – will be wearing a Citrus County Property Appraiser (CCPA) logoed gray fishing shirt, have their badge with their name, photo, logo, and job title on it, as well as arriving in a CCPA vehicle that has our name and logo on the side. Also, if you are not present at the property when we arrive, we will make sure to always leave an orange door hanger stating why we were at your property. We will include the employee’s name and work phone number for you to contact if you have any questions.

Question: “So why would a member of the Property Appraiser’s office be at my property?”

Answer: There are a few reasons why you could meet one of our staff members at your property.

Our office tracks all property sales. When a property has been sold or a change of ownership has occurred, we will visit the property to make sure that our records correctly reflect what is on the property and to see if anything has changed since the last time we visited.

Our office also follows up with permits that are pulled with the City of Inverness, City of Crystal River, and the County permitting department. Once the permit has received its certificate of occupancy or has been closed, expect to see us come update our records with the change or addition that has been completed to the property.

Florida Statute 193.023 (2) states that: In making his or her assessment of the value of real property, the property appraiser is required to physically inspect the property at least once every five years. Where geographically suitable, and at the discretion of the property appraiser, the property appraiser may use image technology in lieu of physical inspection to ensure that the tax roll meets all the requirements of law.

Cregg E. Dalton is the Citrus County property appraiser.

When you are ready to buy or sell any real estate, please call us at 352-686-0000.

© 2023 Florida Realtors®

Source: https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2023/10/property-appraiser-qa-homestead-exemptions

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