homestead exemption

homestead exemption "save our homes act"

Amendment 10 - "Save Our Homes"

What Is "Save Our Homes"?

Save Our Homes" (SOH) spearheaded by Mr. Wilkinson, approved by Florida voters in 1992, effective January 1, 1995. SOH places a limitation of 3% on annual assessment increases on homestead exempt property. For all property first granted homestead exemption in the prior year, that year’s assessed value will be the base value for the implementation of "Save Our Homes". Thereafter, the assessed value will not increase more than 3% or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. The property’s market value may differ from SOH assessed value. SOH assessed value will never be greater than market value.

What properties are affected?

Homestead exempt properties only.

How does a divorce or death of a spouse affect your SOH cap

The cap remains in effect upon the change of title due to divorce or death of a spouse as long as the remaining owner originally made application and continues to live on the property as their permanent residence.

Does a house with partial homestead qualify?

Yes, but only the portion applicable under the homestead guidelines.

Does SOH apply to homestead parcels with multi-buildings?

Yes, but only the portion applicable under the homestead guidelines.

Does SOH apply to homestead parcels with agricultural classification?

Yes. The residence and curtilage applicable to the homestead portion qualify.

What is curtilage?

The land and structures, on an agricultural classified property, immediately surrounding the homesteaded residence.

What happens when I sell my property and buy a new home?

When a homestead property sells, the SOH assessed value returns to market value in the year following the sale. That market value assessment then becomes the base value for SOH purposes for the new owner/homestead applicant.

What happens to the value of my homestead property when I make additions or improvements?

The additions or improvements are valued at market value in the year of construction, and that value is then added to your capped assessment. SOH then applies to these additions/improvements in subsequent years.

What happens if errors are made in arriving at any annual assessment due to a material mistake of fact concerning an essential characteristic of the property?

The assessment must be recalculated for every such year and corrected only for the current assessment. Florida Supreme Court case of Smith v. Welton, 729 So. 2d 371 (Fla. 1999).

Example of SOH scenario involving the assessment of a duplex with a Homestead:

Base Year: Correct Assessment

1) 1998 market value:


(1st yr homestead assess)



homestead exemption



taxable value (correct)

2nd Year: SOH Incorrect as Exemption Was Applied To Entire Duplex Value

2) 1999 market value increases:


(1st year of SOH cap)



SOH Value (1998 Assess. +3%)



Homestead Exemption



taxable value (incorrect)

2nd Year: If SOH Was Correct Exemption Applied Only to 1/2 Duplex Value

3) 1999 duplex market value


(1st year of SOH cap)



SOH Value (1998 Assess. +3%)



Homestead Exemption



taxable value (correct)

In #3 the correct 1999 SOH value of $65750 is calculated as follows:

1998 value of 1/2 duplex = $50,000/2 = $25,000

1998 SOH capped 1/2 duplex value + $25,000 + 3% = $25,750 1999 capped value

1999 value uncapped 1/2 duplex = $80,000/2 + $40,000 = $67,500 assessed

Can my Taxes go up more than SOH capped percentage?

Yes, SOH is a limitation on the assessed value of the homestead property, not the taxes. Millage rates (determined by the various taxing authorities) may increase or decrease as those taxing authorities determine their budgets. In addition, on multi-dwelling/agricultural parcels only the homesteaded portion is subject to the SOH limitation.

What is the "recapture" rule?

Governor Chiles and Cabinet approved a Department of Revenue rule in 1995 directing property appraisers to raise the assessed value of a qualifying homestead property by the maximum of 3% or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less, on all properties assessed at less than full market value whether or not that property’s value increased during the calendar year.

For example, Property A’s market value increases by 10 % this year. As a homestead property, the property appraiser can only increase the value by 3% or CPI, which ever is less under SOH.

In the next year, Property A’s market value did not change. Since its assessed value under SOH remains under market value, the property appraiser must increase the assessed value by 3% or CPI, which ever is less, to bring its value closer to full market value.

In 2004, the SOH Amendment protected over 165.1 billion dollars of homeowner’s value from taxation statewide. Just in Lee County, the 2005 protected value exceeded 8.5 billion dollars.


Source: Lee County Property Appraiserlast updated on 03/20/2014


Social Media

Cape Coral Real state on

Zillow Agent

Alexandra Fischer on Zillow

Alexandra Fischer - Agent with Del Prado Realty, LLC

German Version


© Floridacapecoral. All Rights Reserved.