Florida Amendment 5 explained: Property tax benefit extension

Florida’s Amendment Five gives Florida homeowners more leeway in maintaining tax property tax benefits. 

Homeowners receive a $25,000-$50,000 exemption on their primary home (depending on its value), plus a cap on how much it can be taxes known as the ‘save our homes’ cap. 

In the early 90s, real estate values shot up and people had trouble paying the ensuing tax bills. In 1992, voters passed the ‘Save our Homes Amendment,’ and in 1995 it kicked in. It limits the assessed value, or the amount you can be taxed on your primary home to no more than three percent a year. 

By 2008, a lot people wanted to move but couldn’t for fear of losing that cap, and it was impeding the real estate market. Florida responded by making the Save Our Homes cap portable, meaning homeowners can transfer up to a half-million dollars in accrued tax benefits from one primary home to another when they move. 

But they only have up to two years to carry that benefit from one home to the other. And for people who sell late in a calendar year, it can be just a little more than a year.

That doesn’t give people who are building homes, or renting until they find and buy a new home as much time as they would like.

Amendment Five extends the grace period for transferring the ‘Save Our Homes’ cap from two years to three years.  

Voting in Florida 2020: Tampa Bay area election guide

To make sure your vote counts, there are several things to know about early voting in Florida and voting by mail in 2020. Here is county-by-county information about voting deadlines and methods in the Tampa Bay area.

FLORIDA AMENDMENTS EXPLAINED: