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August 23, 2002

New Law Increases Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

TALLAHASSEE - With Florida property owners receiving notices this month about upcoming property tax bills, state agencies are working with Florida veterans' associations and property tax administrators to implement a new state law that will increase the exemption from property taxes for veterans with service-connected disabilities from $500 to $5,000.

The Florida Department of Revenue and the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs are seeking assistance from veterans' organizations in urging disabled veterans to make sure that they take advantage of the additional tax savings. The increased exemption applies to homestead property (the home that the veteran lives in) as well as other types of property. The exemption is available to any veteran who lives in Florida, who owns homestead property, and who has a service-connected disability of from 10 to 90 percent. State law already provides a full homestead property tax exemption to veterans who are 100 percent permanently and totally disabled.

The additional tax savings was made possible by HB 165, adopted in the 2002 Legislature. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jerry Paul, R-Port Charlotte, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, Rep. Irving Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, and Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach.

Many county appraisers' offices have indicated that this increase in the exemption will automatically be granted. However, those veterans currently receiving the $500 exemption should contact their county appraiser's office between January and March 2003 if they have not received notification from their appraiser's office by then. Also, veterans who are not currently receiving an exemption for their service-connected disabilities should contact their county property appraiser's office.