GAINESVILLE, Florida — Seniors who dislike filling out forms and turning in paperwork can take heart.
If they are low-income homeowners age 65 and older they may no longer need to submit a household income statement every year to qualify for a senior tax exemption. The change to the state’s statute on property tax exemptions was passed by Florida Legislature and goes into effect July 1 for 2022 renewals.
“That’s good to know because unless I come upon a big inheritance, I don’t foresee my income going up,” said Gainesville retiree Mary Anne Flesner, who recently visited the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office to submit her income statement.
Each year, the Property Appraiser’s Office provides tax exemptions on the homesteads of thousands of permanent residents in Alachua County. In addition, some of those 65 and older qualify for a special senior exemption if their total household adjusted gross income is less than $31,100 for 2021.
Now seniors don’t need to submit the required sworn statement of their household income every year after their initial submission and application has been approved — provided their income hasn’t increased above the threshold. The Florida Department of Revenue adjusts the income limitation every year based on the consumer price index.
“We hope the easy-to-renew option will lessen the burden on seniors who have had to submit their income statement every year,” Alachua County Property Appraiser Ayesha Solomon said.
There’s another benefit: A savings in staff time and administrative costs, which boosts the Property Appraiser Office’s mission of being a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
Learn more about senior exemptions
Based on current millage rates assessed by taxing authorities, those who qualify for senior exemptions can save up to $400 on annual taxes owed Alachua County and certain municipalities, said Dan Marvel, director of Customer Service and Exemptions. These exemptions apply only to the millage rates levied by the county and municipalities that have approved the exemption: the cities of Gainesville, High Springs, Micanopy and Alachua. They do not apply to the millage rates set by the Alachua County Public Schools.
“We encourage eligible seniors to take advantage of these significant property tax exemptions,” Solomon said.
Additionally, the state statute allows a “super seniors” exemption for those 65 and older who qualify for the first senior exemption provided they meet other requirements: live for at least 25 years in their home and its value is less than $250,000. These “super seniors” in Alachua County are entitled to an exemption only on the millage rates levied by the county and the city of Micanopy. It hasn’t been adopted by other municipalities in the county. And they also don’t apply to millage rates set by Alachua County Public Schools.
About the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office
The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office ensures that all taxable property in the county is assessed equitably and at its fair market value in accordance with Florida statues. The Property Appraiser’s Office has two locations: 515 N. Main Street in Gainesville and 15010 NW 142nd Terrace in Alachua. For more information visit https://www.acpafl.org.