(1) A servicemember who receives a homestead exemption may receive an additional ad valorem tax exemption on that homestead property as provided in this section.
(2) The exemption is available to servicemembers who were deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of any of the following military operations:
(a) Operation Joint Task Force Bravo, which began in 1995.
(b) Operation Joint Guardian, which began on June 12, 1999.
(c) Operation Noble Eagle, which began on September 15, 2001.
(d) Operation Enduring Freedom, which began on October 7, 2001.
(e) Operations in the Balkans, which began in 2004.
(f) Operation Nomad Shadow, which began in 2007.
(g) Operation U.S. Airstrikes Al Qaeda in Somalia, which began in January 2007.
(h) Operation Copper Dune, which began in 2009.
(i) Operation Georgia Deployment Program, which began in August 2009.
(j) Operation New Dawn, which began on September 1, 2010, and ended on December 15, 2011.
(k) Operation Odyssey Dawn, which began on March 19, 2011, and ended on October 31, 2011.
(l) Operation Spartan Shield, which began in June 2011.
(m) Operation Observant Compass, which began in October 2011.
(n) Operation Inherent Resolve, which began on August 8, 2014.
(o) Operation Atlantic Resolve, which began in April 2014.
(p) Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, which began on January 1, 2015.
(q) Operation Resolute Support, which began in January 2015.
The Department of Revenue shall notify all property appraisers and tax collectors in this state of the designated military operations.
(3) The exemption is also available to servicemembers who were deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of a subordinate operation to a main operation designated in subsection (2).
(4) By January 15 of each year, the Department of Military Affairs shall submit to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the tax committees of each house of the Legislature a report of all known and unclassified military operations outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii for which servicemembers based in the continental United States have been deployed during the previous calendar year. The report must include:
(a) The official and common names of the military operations;
(b) The general location and purpose of each military operation;
(c) The date each military operation commenced; and
(d) The date each military operation terminated, unless the operation is ongoing.
(5) The amount of the exemption is equal to the taxable value of the homestead of the servicemember on January 1 of the year in which the exemption is sought multiplied by the number of days that the servicemember was on a qualifying deployment in the preceding calendar year and divided by the number of days in that year.
(6)(a) An eligible servicemember who seeks to claim the additional tax exemption as provided in this section must file an application for exemption with the property appraiser on or before March 1 of the year following the year of the qualifying deployment. The application for the exemption must be made on a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the property appraiser. The form must require a servicemember to include or attach proof of a qualifying deployment, the dates of that deployment, and other information necessary to verify eligibility for and the amount of the exemption.
(b) An application may be filed on behalf of an eligible servicemember by his or her spouse if the homestead property to which the exemption applies is held by the entireties or jointly with the right of survivorship, by a person who has been designated by the servicemember to take actions on his or her behalf pursuant to chapter 709, or by the personal representative of the servicemember’s estate.
(7) The property appraiser shall consider each application for a deployed servicemember exemption within 30 days after receipt or within 30 days after receiving notice of the designation of qualifying deployments by the Legislature, whichever is later. A property appraiser who finds that the taxpayer is entitled to the exemption shall approve the application and file the application in the permanent records. A property appraiser who finds that the taxpayer is not entitled to the exemption shall send a notice of disapproval no later than July 1, citing the reason for disapproval. The original notice of disapproval shall be sent to the taxpayer and shall advise the taxpayer of the right to appeal the decision to the value adjustment board and shall inform the taxpayer of the procedure for filing such an appeal.
(8) As used in this section, the term “servicemember” means a member or former member of any branch of the United States military or military reserves, the United States Coast Guard or its reserves, or the Florida National Guard.
A. Section 4, ch. 2011-93, provides that “[t]he Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer the provisions of this act. The emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after the rules are adopted and the rules may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.”
B. Section 2, ch. 2016-26, provides that:
“(1) Notwithstanding s. 196.173, Florida Statutes:
“(a) The deadline for an applicant to file an application with the property appraiser for an additional ad valorem tax exemption under s. 196.173, Florida Statutes, for the 2016 tax year is June 1, 2016.
“(b) For purposes of calculating the 2016 exemption for the military operations added by this act, a servicemember may include as days he or she was on a qualifying deployment in the preceding calendar year the number of days he or she was on qualifying deployments during the 2014 and 2015 calendar years.
“(2) If an application is not timely filed under subsection (1), a property appraiser may grant the exemption if:
“(a) The applicant files an application for the exemption on or before the 25th day after the mailing by the property appraiser during the 2016 calendar year of the notice required under s. 194.011(1), Florida Statutes;
“(b) The applicant is qualified for the exemption; and
“(c) The applicant produces sufficient evidence, as determined by the property appraiser, which demonstrates that the applicant was unable to apply for the exemption in a timely manner or otherwise demonstrates extenuating circumstances that warrant granting the exemption.
“(3) If the property appraiser denies an application under subsection (2), the applicant may file, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), Florida Statutes, a petition with the value adjustment board which requests that the exemption be granted. Such petition must be filed on or before the 25th day after the mailing by the property appraiser during the 2016 calendar year of the notice required under s. 194.011(1), Florida Statutes. Notwithstanding s. 194.013, Florida Statutes, the eligible servicemember is not required to pay a filing fee for such petition. Upon review of the petition, the value adjustment board may grant the exemption if the applicant is qualified for the exemption and demonstrates extenuating circumstances, as determined by the board, which warrant granting the exemption.
“(4) A servicemember may receive a refund of taxes paid for the 2015 tax year if he or she was on qualifying deployments during the 2014 and 2015 calendar years for more than 365 days. The amount of the refund is equal to the taxes paid on the servicemember’s homestead in 2015 multiplied by the number of days in excess of 365 that the servicemember was on qualifying deployments during the 2014 and 2015 calendar years, divided by 365.”
C. Section 3, ch. 2016-26, provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act applies to ad valorem tax rolls for the 2016 tax year and thereafter.”