Required Documentation for Homestead Exemption

All applications must include no less than two (2) forms of Florida residency identification as listed below for each resident. By law, the social security number of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse must be provided; even if the spouse is not listed on the property title or does not live on the property. Non-citizens must provide a copy of their Permanent Residence Card (Green Card).

Forms of Florida residency identification are:

  1. Florida Driver’s License or ID card
  2. Florida Vehicle Registration
  3. Jefferson County Voter’s Registration
  4. Recorded Affidavit of Florida Resident



If title to the home is held in the name of a trust, the applicant must have equitable title or beneficial interest to qualify for the homestead exemption. A copy of the trust agreement may be requested after the application is filed.

Transfer of Homestead Exemption from an Existing Home

If you currently receive a Homestead Exemption for property you own and occupy as your permanent residence in Jefferson County, and you have moved to a new home in Jefferson County as your permanent residence, you must complete a new Homestead Exemption Application listing the new home address as your permanent residence. Homestead exemption DOES NOT automatically transfer. Our office will take care of removing the former exemption and applying a new exemption for the appropriate tax year. You may qualify for even more savings with Homestead Portability; be sure to read the following.


You may be entitled to additional tax savings with Homestead Portability; also known as Save Our Homes Portability. Portability allows you to transfer up to $500,000 of existing Save Our Homes benefit from one Homestead to another Homestead anywhere in the state of Florida. To be eligible, you must have a “portability” benefit, complete the Save Our Homes Portability Application, and include it with your Homestead Exemption application.

Portability Application – Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference

Reasons for Disapproval/Removal of Homestead Exemption

Homestead fraud occurs when a person who has filed for homestead exemption or is currently receiving homestead exemption is determined not to be a permanent resident of Jefferson County. Residency is determined by many factors such as Florida Driver’s License, Jefferson County voter registration or Declaration of Domicile, Florida vehicle registration, place of employment, location where children are enrolled in school, etc. (refer to FS 196).

Listed below are examples of common things that may cause you to lose your homestead exemption:

  • Renting your property for more than 30 days per calendar year, for 2 consecutive years. Don’t be misinformed – you cannot rent your property for a few months every year and continue to qualify for homestead. Property owners who claim homestead exemption and then rent out the homestead property (seasonally or annually) do not qualify for homestead (Section 061 Florida Statutes). You can own another home and spend time vacationing there, you can travel in your motor home for months at a time – there is no requirement that you reside in Jefferson County for 6 months and one day. You MUST, however, in good faith reside on the property and it must be your primary, permanent residence.
  • Maintain or obtain an out-of-state residency based tax exemption, reduction, benefit, credit, etc. (e.g. STAR in NY, a veteran’s exemption, the Massachusetts declaration of homestead, etc.) This requirement applies to jointly held property by husband and wife even if only one applies for homestead here and the other applies for the out-of-state tax credit. If you are in this category presently, you must cancel your out-of-state tax benefit effective January 1 of the year you apply for homestead exemption here.
  • If either husband or wife own other property, even individually, only one property can have the homestead exemption. You and your spouse can claim only one location for purposes of homestead exemption, tax credit or roll-back. Even though each spouse may individually own separate properties (individually, jointly in Trust, etc.), each spouse cannot claim a separate homestead for purposes of tax exemption. There are certain circumstances where married persons would each be able to claim separate dwellings as homestead exempt properties and in order to qualify under those circumstances, they would need to prove a “separation of the family unit” as pursuant to Article VII S 6(b), Florida Constitution, Florida Administrative Code 12D-7.007(7).
  • Maintain or obtain a driver’s license in any other county/state. A driver’s license is residency based.
  • Fail to register a vehicle in Florida if you drive it here.
  • If you file a state income tax return in another state indicating you are a permanent resident of that state, you do not qualify for homestead in Jefferson County, Florida.
  • Registered to vote elsewhere. As a Jefferson County resident, this county must be the only place you are registered to vote. You may elect to file a declaration of domicile instead of registering to vote, but you still may not register to vote elsewhere.


We want all residents who qualify to have and keep their homestead exemption. This checklist is provided to avoid the pitfalls that can occur inadvertently and would result in back taxes that carry stiff penalties and interest charges.

File by Mail

You may apply by mail or in person at during the application filing period of January 2 and March 1. You must bring no less than two forms of Florida residency when filing in person. If applying by mail, send your application along with the required documentation to:

Jefferson County Property Appraiser’s Office
Attn: Exemptions Dept.
480 W Walnut Street
Monticello, Florida 32344

Click here for the Application

$500 Widow/Widower Exemption

The widow/widowers exemption reduces the assessed value of your property by $500. This provides a tax savings of approximately $8 annually. Any widow/widower who owns property and is a permanent Florida resident may file for this exemption. If the individual remarries, they are no longer eligible. If they were divorced prior to the death, they are not considered a widow/widower. Applicant must submit evidence the death certificate has been recorded in the public record along with an application.

You may apply in person or by mail. Application must be submitted by March 1 of the year you wish the exemption to begin.

Click here for the application.

First Responder Fallen Hero Exemption

The un-remarried, surviving spouse of a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic whose death resulted out of or in the actual performance of duty required by their employer may receive a 100% exemption on property taxes.

The first responder and their surviving spouse must have been permanent Florida residents on January 1 of the year the first responder died and the surviving spouse must qualify for and receive homestead exemption. A copy of the first responder’s death certificate and a letter from the employer that the death occurred while in the line-of-duty is required.

If approved, the exemption will continue to the surviving spouse as long as he or she continues to own and reside permanently on the property and does not remarry. If the surviving spouse establishes a new homestead, the amount of exemption granted on the previous home may be transferred to the new residence. The exemption will no longer apply if the surviving spouse remarries.

You may apply in person or by mail. Application must be submitted by March 1 of the year you wish the exemption to begin.

Click here for the application.

$500 Disability/Blind Exemption

The disability/blind exemption reduces the assessed value of your property by $500. This provides a tax savings of approximately $8 annually. Applicants must submit an application along with a statement of disability/blindness from one licensed, Florida physician on the state required Form DR-416 or a letter from Social Security stating you are disabled.

“A legally blind person” is defined as an individual having central vision acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or a disqualifying field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees.

You may apply in person or by mail. Application must be submitted by March 1 of the year you wish the exemption to begin.

Click here for form DR-416

Click here for form DR-416B

Click here for the application

Total and Permanent Disability Exemption

(Non Service-connected)

Paraplegics, Hemiplegics, legally blind persons or totally and permanently disabled persons who rely on a wheelchair for mobility, meeting certain income requirements, are eligible for total exemption.

  1. Any real estate used and owned as a Homestead, less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes by any quadriplegic shall be exempt from taxation.
  2. Any real estate used and owned as a Homestead, less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes, by a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person, as defined in Section 196.012(10), Florida Statutes, who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, shall be exempt from taxation.*

*Persons entitled to the exemption under number two (2) above, must be a permanent resident of the state of Florida as of January 1st of the year of application. Also, the prior year gross income of all persons residing in or upon the homestead shall not exceed the amount of income, set forth in section 196.101(4), Florida Statutes, adjusted annually by the percentage change of the average cost of living index issued by the United States Department of Labor. Gross income shall include United States Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and any social security benefits paid to the person. A notarized, statement of gross income must accompany the application. Refer to form DR-501A. The 2017 gross income limit is $28,115.  (this amount to be adjusted annually by the Florida Department of Revenue).

Please note: If filing for the first time for either exemption, the applicant must provide certifications from (2) professionally unrelated, licensed Florida physicians OR (1) letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and (1) certification from a professionally unrelated, licensed Florida physician. Refer to form DR-416.

You may apply in person or by mail. Application must be submitted by March 1 of the year you wish the exemption to begin.

Click here for the application

Click here for the DR-501A Statement of Gross Income

Click here for the DR-416 Physician’s Certification of Total and Permanent Disability

“Granny Flats” Exemption

The “Granny Flats” exemption was adopted by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners effective for the 2014 tax roll. It offers homeowners an exemption for building living space on a homesteaded property to accommodate parents or grandparents that are age 62 and older by January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. It applies only to new construction or reconstruction completed after January 7, 2003.

  • The property owner must have a Homestead Exemption on the property where the parent or grandparent quarters are constructed.
  • Copies of all permits, certificate of occupancy, and plans must be submitted to the Property Appraisers Office (if requested by Property Appraiser).
  • The value exempted from taxes for the homeowner cannot be more than the increase in assessed value from the construction or reconstruction OR 20% of the total assessed value of the property, whichever is less.
  • It applies only during the time that at least one parent or grandparent maintains his or her primary residence within the homestead property of the owner.
  • The parent or grandparent may not be receiving a residency based benefit elsewhere.
  • When the property owner no longer qualifies for the exemption, the previously excluded value of the improvements will be added back to the assessed value of the property.

You may apply in person or by mail. Application must be submitted by March 1 of the year you wish the exemption to begin and must be renewed annually.

Click here for the application (DR-501GP)

Disabled First Responders

Constitutional Amendment 3 was approved by the voters in the November 8, 2016 general election. This amendment created changes to section 6, article VII, and article XII, of the Florida Constitution to allow the Legislature to provide ad valorem tax relief on homestead property for a first responder who is totally and permanently disabled because of an injury sustained in the line of duty. The deadline to file for 2017 is August 1, 2017.
A Florida first responder who was totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty can qualify to have his/her homesteaded residence exempted from all ad valorem taxes.

To qualify for the Total & Permanent Disabled First Responder Exemption, the applicant must:

1. Have applied for and been approved for Homestead exemption

2. Provide totally and permanently disabled proof

  • Documentation from the Social Security Administration stating that the applicant is totally and permanently disabled AND one (1) completed Physician’s Certificate of Disability
  • An applicant that cannot obtain the medical status determination because of ineligibility for social security or medicare benefits must provide documentation to that effect from the Social Security Administration and two (2) completed completed Physician’s Certificates of Disability from two different Florida licensed physicians that are not related or in the same medical practice

3. Provide In the Line of Duty Proof
An ‘Employer Certificate’ that must contain (at a minimum):

  • The title of the person signing the certificate;
  • The name and address of the employing entity;
  • A description of the incident that caused the injury or injuries;
  • The date and location of the incident; and
  • A statement that the first responder’s injury or injuries were: (I) Directly and proximately caused by service in the line of duty. (II) Without willful negligence on the part of the first responder. (III) The sole cause of the first responder’s total and permanent disability.
  • It must be supplanted with documentation of the incident or event that caused the injury, such as an accident or incident report.

For injuries caused by cardiac events: the certificate must include a statement from the first responder’s treating cardiologist for cardiac events that, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty (I) was not caused by a preexisting cardiac vascular disease and (II) the nonroutine stressful or strenuous activity directly and proximately caused the cardiac event that gave rise to the total and permanent disability.

Click here for the application
Click here for the Physician Certificate of Disability Form
Click here for the Employee Certificate