New proposal could bring changes to Florida’s homestead tax exemption

by | Oct 9, 2023

  • Two new tax proposals in the Florida Legislature could impact homeowners’ property taxes, particularly for school district taxes.
  • The proposals, sponsored by Rep. Alina Garcia, aim to change the current homestead exemption rules, potentially excluding the savings from school district taxes.
  • House Joint Resolution 69 must pass before House Bill 71 can take effect, with the latter introducing additional rules, including a $25,000 exemption for higher-valued properties.

Two new proposals are being discussed in the Florida Legislature that could change how some homeowners get a break on their property taxes, specifically for school district taxes. Right now, if you own a home and live in it, you can get what’s called a homestead exemption to lower your property tax bill. This can save you up to $50,000 on your home’s value when it comes to paying property taxes.

To get this tax break, your property has to be your main home as of January 1st in the year you apply. You also need to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and live in Florida.

Currently, the first $25,000 of this tax exemption applies to all kinds of property taxes, including those that go to support your local schools. However, the new proposals suggest that the money you save from this exemption would no longer count toward school district taxes.

How much you pay in property taxes varies across Florida. For example, if you live in Dixie County in the north, you might pay around $560 a year. But in Miami-Dade, you could pay close to $2,900 a year. As for Florida’s ranking in the U.S., our property taxes are pretty much in the middle, ranked 26th highest according to 2021 data.

School district taxes are generally calculated based on your property’s value. So if your home is worth $200,000, you’d typically pay around $200 in school district taxes. Voters can approve increases in these taxes.

Rep. Alina Garcia, a Republican from Miami, has sponsored both of the new tax proposals. These are known as House Joint Resolution 69 and House Bill 71, and both were introduced on September 20. These proposals are now being looked at by the Ways & Means Committee.

Before House Bill 71 can take effect, House Joint Resolution 69 needs to pass first. This is because it’s a change to the state’s constitution. House Bill 71 lays out some additional rules, like offering another $25,000 exemption for properties valued over $50,000.


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