Dear Gulf County Citizens,

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage new homeowners, or those of you who have never filed for Homestead Exemption, to do so on or before March 1, 2017. In order to receive this exemption you must be a Florida resident, provide proof of ownership, and physically occupy your home on or before Jan. 1. 2017.

Please be advised that the Homestead Exemption does NOT transfer from the previous owner to the new owner.

The Homestead Exemption provides up to a $50,000 reduction in the assessed value of your home. In addition, the Homestead Exemption limits the increase of the assessed value in year two not to exceed 3 percent per year or the value of the Consumer Price Index for the previous December, whichever is less.

In order to receive this exemption one must have supporting documents of residency, i.e. driver’s license, vehicle registration(s), Florida voter’s registration number(s), proof of local utility payments at said address, social security number(s), date of birth(s), name and address of current employer if employed, bank statement and checking account address, and if property is in a trust then a copy of trust is needed.

This is also the time to apply for other exemptions for which you may qualify: Senior Exemption (household income could not exceed $28,841 for 2016),

• Senior’s Long –Term Residency Exemption: This allows an exemption equal to the assessed value of the homestead property when the just value is less than $250,000. The owner is required to be 65 years of age or older and maintain a permanent residence on the property for a minimum of 25 years. (Household income could not exceed $28,841 for 2016).

Please note, if you have any questions as to whether or not this has passed within your taxing district, please contact our office. Blind or Widows/Widowers Exemption - $500 exemption.

• Total and Permanent Disability, non-service connected - $500 exemption (Household income could not exceed $28,115 for 2016). Veteran’s Discounts Veteran’s Disability - $5,000 exemption (Veterans of any age may qualify with a disability of 10 percent or more).

Veteran’s Percentage Exemption - percent of disability off of assessment. (Veteran’s must be over the age of 65 in order to qualify). Deployed Military Exemption (Call our office for details)

We also encourage business owners to file their Tangible Personal Property Tax return by April 1. Businesses with $25,000 or less of personal property are exempt by statute from personal property, BUT, they MUST file a return in order to receive the exemption.

If you should have any questions, please call our office at 229-6115 or visit our website at www.gulfpa.com Sincerely, Mitch Burke, CFA Gulf County Property Appraiser