HOMESTEADS, or primary residences, are subject to property taxes in Florida, which must be assessed at just value, except that every primary residence is eligible for a $25,000 homestead exemption. Another $25,000 homestead exemption is applied to homesteads that have an assessed value of more than $50,000 up to $75,000.
If you are a full time resident in Florida and have purchased a home, you may claim the Homestead Exemption on January 1st of the first full year you own the home. Property granted Homestead shall be assessed at full market value (just value) as of January 1 of the year in which the property receives the exemption.
In subsequent years, the assessed value of homestead exempt property will not increase more than 3%, or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. This is why someone who has lived in a home for a long time will have a tax bill that is lower than the market value of their home would suggest.
PORTABILITY is the difference between the assessed value of a home (that taxes are based on) and the market value of a home (what it would sell for). A provision of the Save Our Homes Amendment allows homestead property owners to port, or transfer, the accumulated difference between assessed value and the just/market value (up to $500,000). The process of moving this SOH differential (or benefit) from one property to another is referred to as Portability. Portability must be applied for and applications must be submitted by March 1st of the year being applied for.
There are also many other exemptions that can apply, like disabled veterans, senior citizens and the list goes on. You can check with the county property appraisal office for a complete list of these exemptions.