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Personal Exemptions

 

Property owners in Florida may be eligible for exemptions and additional benefits that can reduce their property tax liability. While the Homestead Exemption and Save Our Homes assessment limitation help thousands of Florida homeowners save money on their property taxes every year, further benefits are available to property owners with disabilities, senior citizens, veterans and active duty military service members and disabled first responders.

To learn more, scroll through the personal exemptions topics below. As always, our friendly staff are available to help you understand which exemptions you may be eligible for and assist in the application process. Please call our Exemptions Department at (727) 464-3207 with any questions you may have.

Low-Income Senior (65+)

This exemption is currently available to qualified residents in 23 municipalities (all but Belleair Shore) plus Unincorporated Pinellas. Application deadline is March 1. This exemption is based on income received in the prior year. If you do not have all of your income information and the March 1 deadline is near, apply anywayThe deadline to supply income information is June 1.

Qualifications:​

  • At least one property owner is 65 years of age or older on January 1
  • The applicant qualifies for, or is already receiving, Homestead Exemption
  • Meet limited household income requirements published and subject to change each year by the Florida Department of Revenue. The adjusted income limitation for 2022 is $32,561; therefore, prior year’s total household income cannot exceed $32,561. Social Security Income is usually not included in that amount if a resident is NOT REQUIRED to file an income tax return
  • Applicant lives in a tax district offering the exemption

First-time applicants! when you apply, provide:

  • Proof of age (Driver License, Florida ID, Voter ID, or Birth Certificate)
  • If required to file a Federal Income Tax Return: submit form 1040 or 1040A for 2021
  • If not required to file a Federal Income Tax Return: submit documentation such as end of year bank statements, pension summaries, or other documents that will show your total income for the year 2021.
ONLY 2021 INCOME INFORMATION CAN BE ACCEPTED.
APPLY NOW! APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 1, INCOME INFORMATION IS NOT DUE UNTIL JUNE 1.

This exemption is automatically renewed for the majority of the seniors who received this benefit last year. Florida Statute 196.075(5) authorizes our office to audit the eligibility of a random sample of approximately 2,000 applicants to ensure the accuracy of the household income reported. Those in the random audit will receive a letter letting them know they must reapply, along with the application, and information about how to renew if they wish to do so.

 

 

The following taxing districts adopted this additional exemption:

TAX DISTRICT AMOUNT APPROX SAVINGS TAX DISTRICT AMOUNT APPROX SAVINGS

Belleair

$50,000 $325 Oldsmar $50,000 $203
Belleair Beach $25,000 $51 Pinellas Park $25,000 $137
Belleair Bluffs $25,000 $134 Redington Beach $25,000 $45
Clearwater $25,000 $149 Redington Shores $20,000 $36
Dunedin $50,000 $207 Safety Harbor $50,000 $198
Gulfport $25,000 $101 St. Pete Beach $25,000 $79
Indian Rocks Beach $50,000 $92 St. Petersburg $15,000 $100
Indian Shores $25,000 $47 Seminole $25,000 $62
Kenneth City $25,000 $136 South Pasadena $50,000 $212
Largo $25,000 $140 Tarpon Springs $25,000 $134
Madeira Beach $50,000 $138 Treasure Island $25,000 $95
N Redington Beach $50,000 $50

Unincorporated Pinellas County

$25,000 $52
APPLY NOW! APPLICATION DEADLINE MARCH 1, INCOME INFORMATION IS NOT DUE UNTIL JUNE 1.
Low-Income Senior (65+), 25-Year Residency

Cities/counties have the OPTION to adopt an additional exemption for seniors that would be effective based on the date the new exemption was adopted. To date, this exemption has been adopted by the taxing districts of North Redington Beach, Safety Harbor and St. Petersburg.

This exemption only applies to the taxes levied by those governing bodies that have adopted the exemption; school taxes and independent tax districts cannot be exempted. It exempts the amount of the assessed value of the property if the just value is less than $250,000; the property has been the owner’s permanent residence for at least 25 years; the owner is 65+; and the owner’s household income does not exceed the limit established by the Florida Department of Revenue for the low-income senior exemption

Veteran Service-Connected Total and Permanent Disability or their Surviving Spouse

VETERANS: If you believe you qualify for one of the following exemptions APPLY NOW, even if you have not received the necessary documentation from the VA. When we receive your documentation, this exemption can be granted as of the date of your original application, and the excess taxes can be refunded for up to 4 years.

Any honorably discharged veteran with service-connected total and permanent disabilities is entitled to exemption on real estate used and owned as a homestead less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes. Persons entitled to this exemption must have been a permanent resident of this state as of January 1 of the year of assessment. Under certain circumstances the benefit of this exemption can carry over to the veteran's spouse in the event of his or her death. Consult the Exemptions Department at (727) 464-3207 for more details.

If filing for the first time, please bring proof of your service-connected disability, such as a letter from the U.S. Government or the United States Veterans' Administration.

Veteran Service-Connected 10% or Greater Disability or their Surviving Spouse ($5,000)

VETERANS: If you believe you qualify for one of the following exemptions APPLY NOW, even if you have not received the necessary documentation from the VA. When we receive your documentation, this exemption can be granted as of the date of your original application, and the excess taxes can be refunded for up to 4 years.

A $5,000 exemption is available on property owned by an honorably discharged veteran with a service connected disability of 10% or greater. This is in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption. The applicant is required to be a permanent and legal resident of Florida.

To qualify, the applicant must present a letter or certificate of disability from the United States Government or the United States Veteran’s Affairs that indicates that the person is an honorably discharged veteran with a service connected disability of 10% or greater as of January 1st of the year of application.

If the surviving spouse can you answer "yes" to all of these questions and has not remarried, they may be eligible to receive an exemption of $5,000 from the assessed value of their property:

  • Did your spouse have a service-connected disability of 10% or greater?
  • Was your spouse honorably discharged?
  • Was your spouse a permanent resident of Florida at the time of death?

You must apply on or before March 1st and supply a copy of the veteran's death certificate or obituary, and a copy of the veteran's most current rating decision from the VA.

Total and Permanent Disability

Any homestead property less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes by a quadriplegic, paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person, as defined in Section 196.101(4), Florida Statutes, who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes.

Persons must be permanent Florida residents as of January 1 of the assessment year and the prior year gross income of all persons residing in or upon the homestead shall not exceed a specified amount. Quadriplegic persons have no income limitations. Contact our office for the current year’s amount. Gross income includes Veterans Administration and any social security benefits paid to the persons. A completed statement of gross income must accompany the application. If filing for the first time, please bring certificates from two licensed Florida physicians or the Veterans Administration, stating the disability is total and permanent with mobility by wheelchair or quadriplegic.

Widow/Widower ($5,000*)

*In 2022, the Florida Legislature increased property tax exemptions for residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled from $500 to $5,000. The increase in the exemption amount will become effective as of January 1, 2023, for the 2023 tax year. This will increase the typical savings related to this exemption from approximately $10 to $100 per year for these individuals. 

Until January 1, 2023, the exemption remains at $500. Any widow or widower who is a permanent Florida resident may claim this exemption. If the surviving spouse remarries, they are no longer eligible. Spouses who divorced before death do not qualify for the exemption. Please submit a copy of the deceased spouse’s death certificate when you file.

 

Disability ($5,000*)

*In 2022, the Florida Legislature increased property tax exemptions for residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled from $500 to $5,000. The increase in the exemption amount will become effective as of January 1, 2023, for the 2023 tax year. This will increase the typical savings related to this exemption from approximately $10 to $100 per year for these individuals. 

Until January 1, 2023, a $500 exemption is available on property owned by a 100% totally and permanently disabled person who does not use a wheelchair for mobility and/or whose income is over the statutory limit for total tax exemption. This is in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption, resulting in a total exempt amount of $50,500. The exemption is available on any or all property owned by the applicant, and also applies to tangible personal property, such as mobile home attachments. The property owner is required to be a permanent and legal resident of Florida.

To qualify, the applicant must present a letter from their licensed Florida physician or the Social Security Administration stating that they have a 100% total and permanent disability. A letter from the Veteran's Administration is also acceptable if the letter states that the disability is non-service connected.

Homestead is not required for this exemption.

Blind Persons ($5,000*)

*In 2022, the Florida Legislature increased property tax exemptions for residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled from $500 to $5,000. The increase in the exemption amount will become effective as of January 1, 2023, for the 2023 tax year. This will increase the typical savings related to this exemption from approximately $10 to $100 per year for these individuals. 

Until January 1, 2023, a $500 exemption is available on property owned by a blind person whose income is over the statutory limit to qualify for total tax exemption. This is in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption, resulting in a total exempt amount of $50,500. The property owner is required to be a permanent and legal resident of Florida. The applicant must present a letter from his or her licensed Florida Physician, the Veteran’s Administration, the Social Security Administration or the Division of Blind Services that they are legally blind. A blind person is defined as a person who is “certified by the Division of Blind Services of the Department of Education or the Federal Social Security Administration or United States Department of Veterans Affairs to be blind. As used herein "blind person" shall mean an individual having central vision acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a disqualifying field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees.”

Veteran with Combat-Related Disability or their Surviving Spouse (Property Tax Benefit)

VETERANS: If you believe you qualify for one of the following exemptions APPLY NOW, even if you have not received the necessary documentation from the VA. When we receive your documentation, this exemption can be granted as of the date of your original application, and the excess taxes can be refunded for up to 4 years.

This benefit provides a percentage discount in property taxes equal to the percentage of a veteran's partial or total permanent service-connected disabilities as long as a portion of those disabilities are combat-related. For instance, a veteran who qualifies and has a 50% service-connected disability rating would receive a 50% reduction in property taxes even if only 20% of those disabilities are combat related. This exemption carries over to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who received this discount prior to their death.

You may qualify if you can answer "yes" to all of the questions below:

  • Do you currently receive a Homestead Exemption?
  • Were you at least 65 years of age on January 1st?
  • Do you have a partial or total permanent combat related disability?
  • Were you honorably discharged upon separation from military service?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you must apply on or before March 1 of the qualifying year and supply each of the following:

  • A copy of your most current rating decision from the VA, including evidence that your disability is combat related
  • A copy of your DD-214

If you do not have your DD-214, please contact the Pinellas County Veteran's Service Office at (727) 464-8460 for assistance in obtaining a duplicate copy. If you are unable to provide a DD-214, you must supply each of the following:

  • A copy of your most current rating decision from the VA
  • Evidence that your disability is combat related
  • Proof of your date of birth
  • Proof of your Honorable Discharge

The surviving spouse may carryover the full exemption if:

  • The veteran predeceases his or her spouse
  • The surviving spouse holds legal or beneficial title to the homestead property and permanently resides there
  • The surviving spouse does not remarry

If the surviving spouse sells the property, the dollar amount of the exemption for the most recent assessment (value on your most recent TRIM notice) may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s new homestead.

First Responder Total and Permanent Disability Sustained in the Line of Duty or their Surviving Spouse

Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a person who has a total and permanent disability as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty while serving as a first responder in Florida, or during an operation in another state or country authorized by Florida, or a political subdivision of Florida is exempt from taxation if the first responder is a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year for which the exemption is being claimed.

 

 

All the following documents are required:

  • Documentation from the Social Security Administration ("SSA") within 3 months after issuance, stating the applicant is totally and permanently disabled.
  • A certificate from the organization that employed the applicant as a first responder or supervised the applicant as a volunteer first responder at the time the injury occurred. 
  • A certificate from a physician (M.D. or D.O.) licensed in Florida that certifies the applicant has a total and permanent disability and is unable to engage in substantial gainful occupation. 

OR

  • If ineligible to receive a medical status determination from SSA, documentation from SSA stating the applicant is not eligible to receive a medical status determination.
  • A certificate from the organization that employed the applicant as a first responder or supervised the applicant as a volunteer first responder at the time the injury occurred. 
  • A certificate from two professionally unrelated physicians (M.D. or D.O.) licensed in Florida that certifies the applicant has a total and permanent disability and is unable to engage in substantial gainful occupation. 
Surviving Spouse of Veteran or First Responder Who Died on Duty

Property owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a United States Armed Forces veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty, or a first responder employed by the state of Florida (law enforcement officer, correctional office, firefighter, EMT or paramedic) who died in the line of duty, is exempt from taxation.

The surviving spouse must reside on and hold legal or beneficial title to the property and not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells or moves from the property, the exemption amount may be transferred to the new residence if it is the spouse’s primary residence. If the spouse remarries, they do not qualify for this exemption.

If the veteran died on active duty, a letter is required from the U.S. Government or Veterans Affairs certifying the veteran died from service-connected causes while on active duty. The surviving spouse of first responders must provide a letter from the first responder’s employer indicating they died in the line of duty.

In addition to the letters, a marriage certificate and the death certificate from the branch of service are all required when applying.

Veteran Confined to a Wheelchair or their Surviving Spouse

The homestead property of an honorably discharged veteran who has a service-connected total (but not necessarily permanent) disability is exempt from taxes. The veteran may or may not be exempt from non-ad valorem special assessments. To qualify, the veteran must be required to use a wheelchair for mobility and receives financial assistance due to a disability that requires specially adapted housing. A letter from the United States Government or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs attesting to the disability is required along with the application.

The surviving spouse of a veteran who was required to use a wheelchair for mobility and received financial assistance due to a disability that required specially adapted housing can apply to continue exemption. The surviving spouse must hold title as estate by entireties and must continue to reside on the property for the benefit to carry over. If the spouse remarries, sells or moves from the property, they do not qualify or no longer qualifies if the exemption is already granted.

Deployed Servicemembers

This exemption, which began for the 2011 tax year, created an additional property tax exemption for members of the active duty military or military reserves; the United States Coast Guard or its reserves; or the Florida National Guard, who have a homestead exemption, and who were deployed outside of the United States in support of certain military operations. This exemption was based on the number of days in the previous calendar year that the person was deployed on active duty in support of those operations. This exemption does not renew and must be applied for annually as the criteria will change each year.

 

 

Qualifications:

  • Served member currently receives homestead exemption; and
  • Was deployed in the prior year on active duty outside the US, Alaska or Hawaii; and
  • Served in designated operations approved by the Florida Legislature.

The statute requires a service member to make an application by March 1 annually. A service member's spouse or designee, or a representative of his or her estate, may file an application on behalf of the service member.

This exemption is different from Homestead and other exemptions because there is not a set dollar amount to be exempted. Rather, the bill creates a prorated percentage to be exempt based on the amount of time the service member was deployed during the previous year.

Housing for Parents/Grandparents

This is not an active exemption in Pinellas County. This exemption must first be adopted by the Pinellas County Commission in order to be operative in Pinellas County.

In November of 2002, Florida voters approved an amendment to provide a local option reduction in the assessed value of homesteaded property for the purpose of providing living quarters for parents or grandparents of the property owner. Legislature enacted an implementing bill effective January 7, 2003 (193.703, Florida Statutes). The exemption would only cover additions (or separate structures on the same property) built specifically for the purpose of housing parents or grandparents after the exemption was adopted. There will be no retroactive provision.