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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 081
Exemption for certain permanently and totally disabled veterans and for surviving spouses of veterans; exemption for surviving spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty.
F.S. 196.081
196.081 Exemption for certain permanently and totally disabled veterans and for surviving spouses of veterans; exemption for surviving spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty.
(1) Any real estate that is owned and used as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected total and permanent disability and for whom a letter from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor has been issued certifying that the veteran is totally and permanently disabled is exempt from taxation, if the veteran is a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the tax year for which exemption is being claimed or was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the veteran died.
(2) The production by a veteran or the spouse or surviving spouse of a letter of total and permanent disability from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor before the property appraiser of the county in which property of the veteran lies is prima facie evidence of the fact that the veteran or the surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption.
(3) If the totally and permanently disabled veteran predeceases his or her spouse and if, upon the death of the veteran, the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides thereon as specified in s. 196.031, the exemption from taxation carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s spouse until such time as he or she remarries or 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 his or her new residence, as long as it is used as his or her primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
(4) Any real estate that is owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the United States Armed Forces and for whom a letter from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor has been issued certifying that the veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty is exempt from taxation if the veteran was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year in which the veteran died.
(a) The production of the letter by the surviving spouse which attests to the veteran’s death while on active duty is prima facie evidence that the surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption.
(b) The tax exemption carries over to the benefit of the veteran’s surviving spouse as long as the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead, permanently resides thereon as specified in s. 196.031, and does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted under the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to his or her new residence as long as it is used as his or her primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
(5) An applicant for the exemption under this section may apply for the exemption before receiving the necessary documentation from the United States Government or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor. Upon receipt of the documentation, the exemption shall be granted as of the date of the original application, and the excess taxes paid shall be refunded. Any refund of excess taxes paid shall be limited to those paid during the 4-year period of limitation set forth in s. 197.182(1)(e).
(6) Any real estate that is owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a first responder who died in the line of duty while employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state, including authorities and special districts, and for whom a letter from the state or appropriate political subdivision of the state, or other authority or special district, has been issued which legally recognizes and certifies that the first responder died in the line of duty while employed as a first responder is exempt from taxation if the first responder and his or her surviving spouse were permanent residents of this state on January 1 of the year in which the first responder died.
(a) The production of the letter by the surviving spouse which attests to the first responder’s death in the line of duty is prima facie evidence that the surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption.
(b) The tax exemption applies as long as the surviving spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead, permanently resides thereon as specified in s. 196.031, and does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted under the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to his or her new residence if it is used as his or her primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
(c) As used in this subsection only, and not applicable to the payment of benefits under s. 112.19 or s. 112.191, the term:
1. “First responder” means a law enforcement officer or correctional officer as defined in s. 943.10, a firefighter as defined in s. 633.102, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic as defined in s. 401.23 who is a full-time paid employee, part-time paid employee, or unpaid volunteer.
2. “In the line of duty” means:
a. While engaging in law enforcement;
b. While performing an activity relating to fire suppression and prevention;
c. While responding to a hazardous material emergency;
d. While performing rescue activity;
e. While providing emergency medical services;
f. While performing disaster relief activity;
g. While otherwise engaging in emergency response activity; or
h. While engaging in a training exercise related to any of the events or activities enumerated in this subparagraph if the training has been authorized by the employing entity.

A heart attack or stroke that causes death or causes an injury resulting in death must occur within 24 hours after an event or activity enumerated in this subparagraph and must be directly and proximately caused by the event or activity in order to be considered as having occurred in the line of duty.

History.s. 1, ch. 57-778; s. 1, ch. 65-193; ss. 1, 2, ch. 69-55; s. 2, ch. 71-133; s. 1, ch. 76-163; s. 1, ch. 77-102; s. 1, ch. 83-71; s. 10, ch. 86-177; s. 1, ch. 92-167; s. 62, ch. 93-268; s. 1, ch. 93-400; s. 1, ch. 97-157; s. 2, ch. 2012-54; s. 19, ch. 2012-193; s. 93, ch. 2013-183.
Note.Former s. 192.111.