Can Anyone Increase a Homestead Property Tax Exemption?

Reducing Property Taxes Can Anyone Increase a Homestead Property Tax Exemption?

Can People Increase Their Homestead Property Tax Exemption? 

One of the best ways to lower your property taxes is to use available exemptions. In many states, homeowners qualify for a homestead property tax exemption, and the question on everyone's lips is—can I increase my homestead property tax exemption?

DoNotPay will provide the answer and point out the best ways to reduce your property tax bills. Our guides offer the most useful tips if you need help paying your annual property tax.

Amendment 1—Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Can taxpayers increase their homestead property tax exemption? Unfortunately, the answer is no—you cannot do it individually since tax exemptions are defined by federal, state, and local laws. 

While there are no standardized administrative procedures for increasing exemptions, people can bring about the change by exercising their political rights. It means that by voting for amendments on the general election ballot, you can participate in expanding or increasing current homestead property tax exemptions in your state. 

A good example of this is the State of Florida, where the Legislature placed Amendment 1also known as the Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption amendmenton the 2018 ballot. 

The purpose of this amendment was the introduction of a homestead tax exemption for properties with the assessed value of $100,000–$125,000.

Here are some general information and the results:

Florida Amendment 1 Facts

Ballot Title

Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Type

Amendment to Section 6(a) of Article VII of the Florida Constitution 

Election Date

November 6, 2018

58.06% Voted in Favor

  • Supported exempting the portion of assessed home values between $100,000 and $125,000 from property taxes other than school taxes
  • Wanted to bring the maximum homestead exemption up to $75,000

41.94% Voted Against

  • Opposed exempting the portion of assessed home values between $100,000 and $125,000 from property taxes other than school taxes
  • Wanted to keep the maximum homestead exemption at $50,000

Status

Rejected

A 60% was required for the approval of the proposed amendment. 

When it did not pass, some experts claimed that a lot of voters probably were confused by the name of the amendment

They explained that not a lot of people knew what a homestead exemption was. 

What Is a Homestead Property Tax Exemption? 

A homestead tax exemption is the percentage of your home value that is excluded from your property taxes. 

Most U.S. states provide the homestead property tax exemption. Different states use different percentages and eligibility criteria. 

In some states, all homeowners can get a property tax exemption. In others, you qualify based on your:

  • Age
  • Income level
  • Property value
  • Ability status

Your home needs to be your primary residence to be eligible for the homestead tax exemption. 

Some states set a maximum home value that can qualify for an exemption. Local governments set property tax rates.

What Was the Role of Local Governments in the Failure of Amendment 1?

Local governments in Florida played a big part in this amendment’s result. They explained that the new property tax exemption would harm their budgets. According to their predictions, the revenue loss would have been $753 million in the first year alone.

Local governments notified voters that they would have to cut their services. Apart from that, they explained that this type of tax change would affect rental and commercial properties. 

Many believed the proposed Amendment 1 would have been a mere tax shift. It may have introduced tax relief for homestead properties but would have additionally burdened the non-homestead ones.

How Is a Homestead Property Tax Exemption Applied?

Each state regulates the homestead tax exemption provisions. In some, this exemption is automatic, while in others, homeowners need to submit a claim. 

Homestead exemptions apply only to a primary residence. They cannot be applied to rental or vacation properties, which means you have to live in the home to get this property tax exemption.

States can use two methods to calculate your homestead exemption:

  1. Percentage method—you will benefit more if your property’s assessed value is higher
  2. Fixed amount method—you will profit more if your property is less valuable 

If your adult children or cousins live in a home that you own, they can apply for a homestead exemption with an ownership interest in that property. 

Those who are moving need to inform the local tax assessor’s office of their address change in some states. Otherwise, your move can be treated as fraud and result in criminal charges. 

DoNotPay Can Help You Lower Your Property Taxes

DoNotPay gathers information on property taxes in various U.S. states. We keep track of all the relevant information so that you don’t have to. 

Our app will use the data you provide about you and your property to analyze what property tax exemptions you qualify for. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open DoNotPay in any web browser
  2. Select the Property Tax feature
  3. Answer a few questions about you and your property

DoNotPay will generate your personalized guide to property tax reductions and help you lower your future tax bills.

File a Property Tax Appeal With DoNotPay

Another way to reduce your property taxes is by appealing your property’s assessed value. You can collect all the necessary information on your own, which can be time-consuming, or with DoNotPay’s quick help

We will provide an appeal section within your personalized property tax reduction guide where you can find all relevant information on what documents you need to collect to file an appeal. DoNotPay will show you where to look for any discrepancies and what proof to gather. 

Follow the steps provided in the previous section and check out how the appeal process works in your state, county, or city of residence. 

Are you considering purchasing real estate in another state? Take a look at the list of the U.S. states with low tax rates. As investing in real estate has always been a smart decision, you can keep making intelligent property choices with DoNotPay on your side. 

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