Florida Senate - 2019 CS for SB 324 By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Brandes 578-02971-19 2019324c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to limitations on homestead 3 assessments; amending s. 193.155, F.S.; revising the 4 timeframe during which the accrued benefit from 5 specified limitations on homestead property tax 6 assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead 7 to a new homestead; deleting obsolete provisions; 8 revising the timeframe during which an owner of 9 homestead property significantly damaged or destroyed 10 by a named tropical storm or hurricane must establish 11 a new homestead to make a certain election; providing 12 applicability; providing a contingent effective date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Subsection (8) of section 193.155, Florida 17 Statutes, is amended to read: 18 193.155 Homestead assessments.—Homestead property shall be 19 assessed at just value as of January 1, 1994. Property receiving 20 the homestead exemption after January 1, 1994, shall be assessed 21 at just value as of January 1 of the year in which the property 22 receives the exemption unless the provisions of subsection (8) 23 apply. 24 (8) Property assessed under this section shall be assessed 25 at less than just value when the person who establishes a new 26 homestead has received a homestead exemption as of January 1 of 27 any
eitherof the 3 2immediately preceding years. A person who28 establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2008, is entitled29 to have the new homestead assessed at less than just value only30 if that person received a homestead exemption on January 1,31 2007, and only if this subsection applies retroactive to January32 1, 2008.For purposes of this subsection, a husband and wife who 33 owned and both permanently resided on a previous homestead shall 34 each be considered to have received the homestead exemption even 35 though only the husband or the wife applied for the homestead 36 exemption on the previous homestead. The assessed value of the 37 newly established homestead shall be determined as provided in 38 this subsection. 39 (a) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 40 is greater than or equal to the just value of the immediate 41 prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the 42 immediate prior homestead was abandoned, the assessed value of 43 the new homestead shall be the just value of the new homestead 44 minus an amount equal to the lesser of $500,000 or the 45 difference between the just value and the assessed value of the 46 immediate prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which 47 the prior homestead was abandoned. Thereafter, the homestead 48 shall be assessed as provided in this section. 49 (b) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 50 is less than the just value of the immediate prior homestead as 51 of January 1 of the year in which the immediate prior homestead 52 was abandoned, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be 53 equal to the just value of the new homestead divided by the just 54 value of the immediate prior homestead and multiplied by the 55 assessed value of the immediate prior homestead. However, if the 56 difference between the just value of the new homestead and the 57 assessed value of the new homestead calculated pursuant to this 58 paragraph is greater than $500,000, the assessed value of the 59 new homestead shall be increased so that the difference between 60 the just value and the assessed value equals $500,000. 61 Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as provided in this 62 section. 63 (c) If two or more persons who have each received a 64 homestead exemption as of January 1 of any eitherof the 3 265 immediately preceding years and who would otherwise be eligible 66 to have a new homestead property assessed under this subsection 67 establish a single new homestead, the reduction from just value 68 is limited to the higher of the difference between the just 69 value and the assessed value of either of the prior eligible 70 homesteads as of January 1 of the year in which either of the 71 eligible prior homesteads was abandoned, but may not exceed 72 $500,000. 73 (d) If two or more persons abandon jointly owned and 74 jointly titled property that received a homestead exemption as 75 of January 1 of any eitherof the 3 2immediately preceding 76 years, and one or more such persons who were entitled to and 77 received a homestead exemption on the abandoned property 78 establish a new homestead that would otherwise be eligible for 79 assessment under this subsection, each such person establishing 80 a new homestead is entitled to a reduction from just value for 81 the new homestead equal to the just value of the prior homestead 82 minus the assessed value of the prior homestead divided by the 83 number of owners of the prior homestead who received a homestead 84 exemption, unless the title of the property contains specific 85 ownership shares, in which case the share of reduction from just 86 value shall be proportionate to the ownership share. In the case 87 of a husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property, the 88 husband and wife may designate the ownership share to be 89 attributed to each spouse by following the procedure in 90 paragraph (f). To qualify to make such a designation, the 91 husband and wife must be married on the date that the jointly 92 owned property is abandoned. In calculating the assessment 93 reduction to be transferred from a prior homestead that has an 94 assessment reduction for living quarters of parents or 95 grandparents pursuant to s. 193.703, the value calculated 96 pursuant to s. 193.703(6) must first be added back to the 97 assessed value of the prior homestead. The total reduction from 98 just value for all new homesteads established under this 99 paragraph may not exceed $500,000. There shall be no reduction 100 from just value of any new homestead unless the prior homestead 101 is reassessed at just value or is reassessed under this 102 subsection as of January 1 after the abandonment occurs. 103 (e) If one or more persons who previously owned a single 104 homestead and each received the homestead exemption qualify for 105 a new homestead where all persons who qualify for homestead 106 exemption in the new homestead also qualified for homestead 107 exemption in the previous homestead without an additional person 108 qualifying for homestead exemption in the new homestead, the 109 reduction in just value shall be calculated pursuant to 110 paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), without application of paragraph 111 (c) or paragraph (d). 112 (f) A husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property 113 who wish to designate the ownership share to be attributed to 114 each person for purposes of paragraph (d) must file a form 115 provided by the department with the property appraiser in the 116 county where such property is located. The form must include a 117 sworn statement by each person designating the ownership share 118 to be attributed to each person for purposes of paragraph (d) 119 and must be filed prior to either person filing the form 120 required under paragraph (h) to have a parcel of property 121 assessed under this subsection. Such a designation, once filed 122 with the property appraiser, is irrevocable. 123 (g) For purposes of receiving an assessment reduction 124 pursuant to this subsection, a person entitled to assessment 125 under this section may abandon his or her homestead even though 126 it remains his or her primary residence by notifying the 127 property appraiser of the county where the homestead is located. 128 This notification must be in writing and delivered at the same 129 time as or before timely filing a new application for homestead 130 exemption on the property. 131 (h) In order to have his or her homestead property assessed 132 under this subsection, a person must file a form provided by the 133 department as an attachment to the application for homestead 134 exemption, including a copy of the form required to be filed 135 under paragraph (f), if applicable. The form, which must include 136 a sworn statement attesting to the applicant’s entitlement to 137 assessment under this subsection, shall be considered sufficient 138 documentation for applying for assessment under this subsection. 139 The department shall require by rule that the required form be 140 submitted with the application for homestead exemption under the 141 timeframes and processes set forth in chapter 196 to the extent 142 practicable. 143 (i)1. If the previous homestead was located in a different 144 county than the new homestead, the property appraiser in the 145 county where the new homestead is located must transmit a copy 146 of the completed form together with a completed application for 147 homestead exemption to the property appraiser in the county 148 where the previous homestead was located. If the previous 149 homesteads of applicants for transfer were in more than one 150 county, each applicant from a different county must submit a 151 separate form. 152 2. The property appraiser in the county where the previous 153 homestead was located must return information to the property 154 appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located by 155 April 1 or within 2 weeks after receipt of the completed 156 application from that property appraiser, whichever is later. As 157 part of the information returned, the property appraiser in the 158 county where the previous homestead was located must provide 159 sufficient information concerning the previous homestead to 160 allow the property appraiser in the county where the new 161 homestead is located to calculate the amount of the assessment 162 limitation difference which may be transferred and must certify 163 whether the previous homestead was abandoned and has been or 164 will be reassessed at just value or reassessed according to the 165 provisions of this subsection as of the January 1 following its 166 abandonment. 167 3. Based on the information provided on the form from the 168 property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead 169 was located, the property appraiser in the county where the new 170 homestead is located shall calculate the amount of the 171 assessment limitation difference which may be transferred and 172 apply the difference to the January 1 assessment of the new 173 homestead. 174 4. All property appraisers having information-sharing 175 agreements with the department are authorized to share 176 confidential tax information with each other pursuant to s. 177 195.084, including social security numbers and linked 178 information on the forms provided pursuant to this section. 179 5. The transfer of any limitation is not final until any 180 values on the assessment roll on which the transfer is based are 181 final. If such values are final after tax notice bills have been 182 sent, the property appraiser shall make appropriate corrections 183 and a corrected tax notice bill shall be sent. Any values that 184 are under administrative or judicial review shall be noticed to 185 the tribunal or court for accelerated hearing and resolution so 186 that the intent of this subsection may be carried out. 187 6. If the property appraiser in the county where the 188 previous homestead was located has not provided information 189 sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the assessment 190 limitation difference is transferable, the taxpayer may file an 191 action in circuit court in that county seeking to establish that 192 the property appraiser must provide such information. 193 7. If the information from the property appraiser in the 194 county where the previous homestead was located is provided 195 after the procedures in this section are exercised, the property 196 appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located shall 197 make appropriate corrections and a corrected tax notice and tax 198 bill shall be sent. 199 8. This subsection does not authorize the consideration or 200 adjustment of the just, assessed, or taxable value of the 201 previous homestead property. 202 9. The property appraiser in the county where the new 203 homestead is located shall promptly notify a taxpayer if the 204 information received, or available, is insufficient to identify 205 the previous homestead and the amount of the assessment 206 limitation difference which is transferable. Such notification 207 shall be sent on or before July 1 as specified in s. 196.151. 208 10. The taxpayer may correspond with the property appraiser 209 in the county where the previous homestead was located to 210 further seek to identify the homestead and the amount of the 211 assessment limitation difference which is transferable. 212 11. If the property appraiser in the county where the 213 previous homestead was located supplies sufficient information 214 to the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead 215 is located, such information shall be considered timely if 216 provided in time for inclusion on the notice of proposed 217 property taxes sent pursuant to ss. 194.011 and 200.065(1). 218 12. If the property appraiser has not received information 219 sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the amount of 220 the assessment limitation difference which is transferable 221 before mailing the notice of proposed property taxes, the 222 taxpayer may file a petition with the value adjustment board in 223 the county where the new homestead is located. 224 (j) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property 225 assessed under this subsection and who fails to file an 226 application by March 1 may file an application for assessment 227 under this subsection and may, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), file a 228 petition with the value adjustment board requesting that an 229 assessment under this subsection be granted. Such petition may 230 be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 231 25th day following the mailing of the notice by the property 232 appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 233 194.013, such person must pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon 234 filing the petition. Upon reviewing the petition, if the person 235 is qualified to receive the assessment under this subsection and 236 demonstrates particular extenuating circumstances judged by the 237 property appraiser or the value adjustment board to warrant 238 granting the assessment, the property appraiser or the value 239 adjustment board may grant an assessment under this subsection. 240 For the 2008 assessments, all petitioners for assessment under241 this subsection shall be considered to have demonstrated242 particular extenuating circumstances.243 (k) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property 244 assessed under this subsection and who fails to timely file an 245 application for his or her new homestead in the first year 246 following eligibility may file in a subsequent year. The 247 assessment reduction shall be applied to assessed value in the 248 year the transfer is first approved, and refunds of tax may not 249 be made for previous years. 250 (l) The property appraisers of the state shall, as soon as 251 practicable after March 1 of each year and on or before July 1 252 of that year, carefully consider all applications for assessment 253 under this subsection which have been filed in their respective 254 offices on or before March 1 of that year. If, upon 255 investigation, the property appraiser finds that the applicant 256 is entitled to assessment under this subsection, the property 257 appraiser shall make such entries upon the tax rolls of the 258 county as are necessary to allow the assessment. If, after due 259 consideration, the property appraiser finds that the applicant 260 is not entitled to the assessment under this subsection, the 261 property appraiser shall immediately prepare a notice of such 262 disapproval, giving his or her reasons therefor, and a copy of 263 the notice must be served upon the applicant by the property 264 appraiser by personal delivery or by registered mail to the post 265 office address given by the applicant. The applicant may appeal 266 the decision of the property appraiser refusing to allow the 267 assessment under this subsection to the value adjustment board, 268 and the board shall review the application and evidence 269 presented to the property appraiser upon which the applicant 270 based the claim and hear the applicant in person or by agent on 271 behalf of his or her right to such assessment. Such appeal shall 272 be heard by an attorney special magistrate if the value 273 adjustment board uses special magistrates. The value adjustment 274 board shall reverse the decision of the property appraiser in 275 the cause and grant assessment under this subsection to the 276 applicant if, in its judgment, the applicant is entitled to the 277 assessment or shall affirm the decision of the property 278 appraiser. The action of the board is final in the cause unless 279 the applicant, within 60 days following the date of refusal of 280 the application by the board, files in the circuit court of the 281 county in which the homestead is located a proceeding against 282 the property appraiser for a declaratory judgment as is provided 283 under chapter 86 or other appropriate proceeding. The failure of 284 the taxpayer to appear before the property appraiser or value 285 adjustment board or to file any paper other than the application 286 as provided in this subsection does not constitute a bar to or 287 defense in the proceedings. 288 (m) For purposes of receiving an assessment reduction 289 pursuant to this subsection, an owner of a homestead property 290 that was significantly damaged or destroyed as a result of a 291 named tropical storm or hurricane may elect, in the calendar 292 year following the named tropical storm or hurricane, to have 293 the significantly damaged or destroyed homestead deemed to have 294 been abandoned as of the date of the named tropical storm or 295 hurricane even though the owner received a homestead exemption 296 on the property as of January 1 of the year immediately 297 following the named tropical storm or hurricane. The election 298 provided for in this paragraph is available only if the owner 299 establishes a new homestead as of January 1 of the third second300 year immediately following the storm or hurricane. This 301 paragraph shall apply to homestead property damaged or destroyed 302 on or after January 1, 2017. 303 Section 2. This act applies beginning with the 2021 tax 304 roll. 305 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the effective date 306 of the amendment to the State Constitution proposed by SJR 326 307 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same 308 specific intent and purpose, if such amendment to the State 309 Constitution is approved at the general election held in 310 November 2020 or at an earlier special election specifically 311 authorized by law for that purpose.