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Additional Homestead Exemption for Seniors

Did you know that Lee County and Collier County each offer an additional property tax homestead exemption for seniors ages 65 and older who had household income of less than $26,203 during 2010? If this does not apply to you, perhaps you know someone that could benefit from this exemption.

This additional senior homestead exemption is potentially worth up to $25,000 for Lee County homeowners (up to $50,000 for Cape Coral homeowners only).  Collier County grants an exemption of up to $50,000 for all qualifying taxpayers.  Unfortunately, Charlotte County does not appear to offer this additional homestead exemption to seniors.

Below is detailed information on the exemptions available for senior homeowners of Lee and Collier Counties.

Lee County, FL Residents

All primary homeowners of Lee County who are 65 years of age or older as of January 1 and whose annual adjusted gross household income does not exceed the mandated income limitation may qualify for an additional senior homestead exemption of up to $25,000 ($50,000 for Cape Coral residents only).

How does one qualify?

  • The “household income” (cumulative “adjusted gross Income” or AGI) of all persons living in the home cannot exceed the yearly amount of $26,203 based on the 2010 tax return or income. Income limits are adjusted annually.
  • Only one spouse/owner must be age 65 or older.
  • Applications are due by March 1; however, the Lee County Property Appraiser is still accepting them for 2011 until September 13, 2011. Page one of your tax return must be attached to the application.
  • The Property Appraiser is also requiring applicants to resubmit the original application for ad valorem tax exemption in order to update their records at the time of senior homestead exemption application.

The senior homestead exemption application and original application for ad valorem tax exemption are available on the Lee County Property Appraiser website at www.leepa.org under the exemption information tab on the left side of the page.

Annual re-application is not required; however, you are responsible for maintaining eligibility by not exceeding the annually adjusted income limitation. If you have already applied for and received this exemption for the prior tax year, and your annually adjusted gross income does not exceed the annually adjusted income limitation, you remain eligible for 2011 and do not need to re-apply. If your income exceeds the limitation, contact the Lee County appraiser immediately to remove the exemption.

Collier County, FL Residents

All primary homeowners of Collier County, who are 65 years of age or older as of January 1 and whose annual adjusted gross household income does not exceed the mandated income limitation may qualify for an additional senior homestead exemption of up to $50,000.

How does one qualify?

  • The “household income” (cumulative “adjusted gross Income” or AGI) of all persons living in the home cannot exceed the yearly amount of $26,203 based on the 2010 tax return or income. Income limits are adjusted annually.
  • Only one spouse/owner must be age 65 or older.
  • Applications are due by March 1; however, the Collier County Property Appraiser is still accepting them for 2011 until September 14, 2011.
  • Taxpayers need to bring a copy of their 2010 tax return or all documents showing sources of income (if a return is not required to be filed) to the office of the Collier County Property Appraiser and complete the application with a representative’s assistance. There is an additional petition form that must be filed and a filing fee of $15 due if the application is completed after June.

Annual re-application is required in Collier County. If you have already applied for and received this exemption for the prior tax year, the County will mail an application to you in January of each year to re-apply.

If you have any questions regarding this information or would like assistance with completion of the required forms, please contact our office at (239) 433-5554. Our team of professionals welcomes the opportunity to discuss your specific situation further. You may also visit us on the web at www.markham-norton.com.