Benefits & Services

Housing

Property Tax Exemption

Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged and has been certified as having a service-connected, permanent and total disability, is exempt from taxation of the veteran is a permanent resident of Florida and has legal title to the property on January 1 of the tax year for which exemption is being claimed. (FS 196.081(1))

Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces who died from service-connected causes while on active duty is exempt from taxation if the member was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year in which the member died. (FS 196.081(4)(a))

If, upon the death of the veteran, the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides there, the exemption from taxation carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s spouse until such time as he or she remarries, sells, or otherwise disposes of the property. If the spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted from the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to the new residence as long as it is used the primary residence and the spouse does not remarry.  (FS 196.081(3))

Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by any quadriplegic is exempt from taxation. Veterans who are paraplegic, hemiplegic, or permanently and totally disabled who must use a wheelchair for mobility, or are legally blind, may be exempt from real estate taxation. Check with your local property appraiser to determine if gross annual household income qualifies. The veteran must be a resident of Florida. (FS 196.101)

Eligible resident ex-servicemembers with a VA certified service-connected disability of 10 percent or greater shall be entitled to a $5,000 property tax exemption. The ex-servicemember must establish this exemption with the country tax official in the country in which he or she resides by providing documentation of this disability.

The unremarried surviving spouse of a disabled ex-servicemember, who on the date of the disabled ex-servicemember’s death had been married to the ex-servicemember for at least five years, is also entitled to this exemption. (FS 196.24)

Any partially disabled veteran who is age 65 or older, who was a Florida resident at the time of entering military service, any portion of whose disability was combat-related, and who was honorably discharged, may be eligible for a discount from the amount of ad valorem tax on the homestead commensurate with the percentage of the veteran’s permanent service-connected disability. Eligible veterans should apply for this benefit at the county property appraiser’s office. (FS 196.082)

Service personnel entitled to the homestead exemption in this state, and who are unable to file in person by reason of such service, may file through next of kin or a duly authorized representative. (FS 196.071)

Home Loans

G.I. Home Loan Guarantee – The VA may guarantee part of your loan for the purchase of a home, manufactured home, or condominium. In addition, veterans with conventional home loans now have options for refinancing to a VA guaranteed home loan as a result of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. For information, call the VA Home Loans Guaranty Services at (888) 244-6711 or visit www.homeloans.va.gov.

For 24-hour counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You are NOT alone!