What is Save Our Homes?
Who qualifies for the Save Our Homes cap?
In 1992, the Florida Constitution was amended to limit the annual increases in the assessed value of property
receiving Homestead Exemption to 3% or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index
, whichever is lower.
This assessment limitation is commonly referred to as the 'Save Our Homes' or 'SOH' cap.
If you own and occupy your home as your permanent residence and receive the $25,000 Homestead Exemption, you will automatically qualify for the cap.
Does the cap limit property taxes?
No, the cap limits the increase of the assessed value of your property. A property's assessment could go down, but property taxes could go up if
the local taxing authorities increase their tax (millage) rate.
Can a vacant lot adjacent to the Homestead property receive the benefit of the cap?
If both the Homestead property and vacant lot are owned by the person receiving the Homestead Exemption, the SOH cap can be extended to the vacant lot if requested by the owner.
What about any improvements or additions to the property?
The full value of any improvements (not including normal maintenance) or additions to the property will be added to the capped assessed value.
How is a property with a partial Homestead Exemption affected?
If property receives a partial Homestead Exemption, either because of the type of ownership (i.e., two owners with only one receiving Homestead) or
because of the type of property (i.e., a duplex that has one side used as Homestead and the other side rented), the cap applies only to that portion
receiving Homestead Exemption and the remainder is assessed at full market value.
What is the 'Recapture' rule?
What happens when a property is sold?
In September 1995, the Governor and Cabinet approved a rule directing property appraisers to raise the assessed value of a qualifying
Homestead property by the maximum of 3% or the annual change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less, on all properties assessed
at less than full market value whether or not that property's market value increased during that calendar year.
For example, a property's market value did not change. However, since its assessed value remains below market value, the Property Appraiser
must increase the assessed value by the annual limit to bring its value closer to full market value.
||Assessed Value With Cap
||CPI from Prior Year or 3% Cap
||Assessed Value Change*
||Assessed Value Change*
|Base Year 2005
||$100,000 x 0.030 = $3,000
||$103,000 x 0.025 = $2,575
||$105,575 x 0.030 = $3,167
||$108,742 x 0.001 = $109
||$108,851 x 0.027 = $2,939
||$111,790 x 0.015 = $1,677
||$113,467 x 0.030 = $3,404
||$116,871 x 0.017 = $1,987
In the preceding example, the Base Year will always be either the first year the program started (1994) or the first year that
the Homestead exemption was filed and approved. The assessed value will always equal the market value in the base year since no
caps have been applied yet. In the example above, the assessed value stayed at $100,000 in 2006 because there was no increase in
market value from 2005. In 2008, since the market value increased, the
Consumer Price Index
(CPI) of 2.5% was applied, as it was lower than the Amendment 10 cap of 3%. In other words, applying a 2.5% increase to the
previous year’s assessed value results in an increase in assessed value of $2,575 in this particular case. In the example,
this same procedure has been applied for each calendar year thereafter to show how it works on a year-to-year basis with
different CPIs. The assessed value is either full market value or less, and assessed value cannot exceed market value. This
limitation applies until the Homestead property is sold and the market value becomes the assessed value in a new base year,
at which time the process starts over.
On January 1st following the sale of the property, the Homestead Exemption and the SOH cap are removed, and the assessed value, if lower
than market value, will be increased to equal the market value. The new owner can apply for Homestead Exemption and will be entitled to a
new SOH cap. If the new owner has never owned a home in Florida, the cap will be applied to the assessed value the year after Homestead
Exemption is first granted. If the new owner(s) had a Homestead Exemption on a previous Florida home, they may be able to transfer their
SOH differential to the new home (see Portability section below).