CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Property Appraiser, Jim Smith, wants to remind permanent residents of Florida who have recently purchased a home in Pinellas County to apply for a homestead exemption immediately after taking occupancy, and before the March 1 deadline. (A homestead exemption is a $25,000 exemption from a property's assessed value and saves approximately $500 in property taxes.)
It is important to note that if a home had a homestead exemption at the time of purchase, that exemption ceased to exist on December 31. Similarly, if a person sold a home that had benefit of the exemption, that exemption is not transferable to another home.
Each individual owner must go to one of the Property Appraiser's Offices to file, except that a married person may file for their spouse, provided they bring their spouse's information as well as their own. The following documents must be provided for each person filing:
Applications may be filed at one of the offices listed below between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Special Saturday hours have been scheduled at these offices from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on February 17th and 24th. Exemption information is also available on the Pinellas County Property Appraiser Office's Internet site at pao.co.pinellas.fl.us.
North County Office
29269 US 19 North
315 Court Street - 2nd Floor
South County Office
Government Services Ctr.
1800-66th Street N.
Starkey Lakes Corp. Center
12955 Starkey Rd. - Unit 3900
And the newest location:
501 1st Ave. N. - Suite 519
The exemption has taken on a new importance with the passing of the Save Our Homes (SOH) amendment in 1995. The amendment states that, after the first year a property has homestead exemption, the taxable value of the property will be capped each year at 3 percent or the annual Consumer Price Index.
Please don't wait to file! If you do you may encounter delays, or worse, you may forget to file and lose out on a tax savings. So Smith says, "please FILE NOW!"
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