Many of us qualify for the homestead tax exemption, which provides protection of the value of one’s home from property taxes and creditors. This exemption allows for some portion of your home’s value to be exempt from taxation, saving you money when paying property taxes. It can also protect your home from a forced sale that intends to satisfy the debts owed to a creditor. For many veterans, life away from their families can be difficult enough without having to worry about late mortgage payments, high property taxes or the consequences associated with limited income. Last november Florida residents voted and the legislature responded by adding a new homestead exemption for Veterans.
New Exemption Brings Peace Of Mind
Active military members have a lot on their plate. Being away from their families, keeping up with their payments while away and maintaining focus on their daily duties as a service memeber can be challenging. The 2011 tax year should provide some much needed relief for these loyal servicemen and women. The previous homestead exemption limited the amount of ones home value that could be exempt from property taxes. The new exemption will calculate the amount of exempt home value based on the number of days the service member was deployed during the previous year. Without a set limit on the amount of home value that is exempt, service members serving mulitple tours could maximize their property tax exemption to the full home value.
This new exemption is only availble for service members who (a) currently receives a homestead exemption (b) who was deployed during 2010 on active duty outside the U.S., Alaska or Hawaii and (c) who served in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom or New Dawn. This new homestead exemption is only for service members who were residents of Florida at the time they entered the military; however, it is home that this exemption will spread to other states by the 2013 tax year.
On the schedule for next session in Florida, is a bill to expand the exemption benefits for disabled veterans. This expansion would expand the availability of the combat-related disabled veterans discount to veterans who are over 65 and who entered the military while a resident of another state. As for states other than Florida, disabled veterans are afforded many benefits as a result of their duties in the service. For those who end up in financial trouble, protection during bankruptcy is greater for veterans than non-service members. Each state has its own bankruptcy laws and some states are more generous than other with their bankruptcy exemptions.