Unlocking Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans: A Quick Guide

Owning a home is a dream for many, and for veterans, there are significant property tax exemptions that can turn this dream into a reality. Let’s break down the key points to help you navigate these benefits:

1. Veterans with Service-Connected Disability:

  • Any real estate used as a homestead by a veteran with an honorable discharge and certified as having a service-connected, permanent, and total disability is tax-exempt.
  • The veteran must be a permanent resident of Florida and hold legal title to the property on January 1 of the tax year.

2. Surviving Spouses of Armed Forces Members:

  • The surviving spouse of a service member who died from service-connected causes on active duty can claim a property tax exemption for their homestead.
  • The deceased service member must have been a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year of their death.

3. Continuation for Spouses:

  • If the veteran’s spouse holds legal or beneficial title to the homestead upon the veteran’s death and permanently resides there, the tax exemption continues until remarriage, sale, or other disposal of the property.
  • If the spouse sells the property, a transferable exemption may be granted for the new residence under certain conditions.

4. Exemption for Quadriplegic and Disabled Veterans:

  • Any homestead owned by a quadriplegic is tax-exempt.
  • Veterans who are paraplegic, hemiplegic, permanently and totally disabled (using a wheelchair for mobility), or legally blind may also qualify for real estate tax exemption.

5. VA Certified Service-Connected Disability:

  • Veterans with a VA certified service-connected disability of 10 percent or greater are entitled to a $5,000 property tax exemption.
  • Eligible veterans need to establish this exemption with the county tax official by providing documentation of their disability.

6. Discount for Combat-Related Disabled Veterans over 65:

  • Partially disabled veterans aged 65 or older, with a combat-related disability, may receive a discount on the ad valorem tax on their homestead.
  • The percentage of the discount correlates with the veteran’s permanent service-connected disability.

7. Assistance for Service Members:

  • Service members entitled to the homestead exemption in Florida, who are unable to file in person due to their service, can file through next of kin or a duly authorized representative.

Understanding and applying these property tax exemptions can make a significant difference for veterans and their families. These benefits are designed to honor and support those who have served our country.