Florida’s Homestead Portability Laws, also known as the “Save Our Homes Portability” provision, were implemented in 2008 as an amendment to the Florida Constitution. These laws allow homeowners to transfer their “Save Our Homes” benefit, which caps the annual increase in property taxes on a primary residence, to a new primary residence within the same county or to a new county within the state.
To qualify for the Homestead Portability benefit, homeowners must have established a Homestead Exemption on their previous primary residence and must apply for the benefit within three years of January 1st of the year you abandoned the old homestead (not three years after the sale).
Example: You leave your property in November of 2020, the Homestead stays on the property through December 2020. You have until January, 1st 2023, to establish a new Homestead and “port” the benefit over to the new home. In the meantime you can buy another property, rent or even move out of State, and still return in time to re-apply the assessment difference.
The benefit is calculated based on the difference between the assessed value of the previous primary residence and the new primary residence, and it can be transferred to the new primary residence for up to three years.
Note: The “Homestead” can be the same property. We previously helped a client who had rented out their property for one year, which caused the loss of the Homestead Exemption, but was able to re-apply the following year and re-gain the assessment difference. However, doing this will likely result in a higher base market value, so this is not recommended unless truly necessary.
This law is intended to help Florida residents who are looking to downsize or move to a new area without having to sacrifice their “Save Our Homes” benefit, which can provide significant savings on property taxes.
Overall, Florida’s Homestead Portability Laws provide an opportunity for homeowners to take advantage of the “Save Our Homes” benefit when moving to a new primary residence within the state, helping to ease the financial burden of property taxes. However, it’s always important to check with the local property appraiser to understand the specific rules and regulations for your county.
You can read more about the process and see more frequently asked questions on the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser website.