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Tax deferral is designed to help taxpayers whose income is low relative to the amount of real estate tax due on their residence. The deferral becomes a lien on the property. County residents that are entitled to claim homestead exemption may defer payment of a portion of the combined total of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments for which a tax certificate would be sold under Chapter 197, F.S., levied on his or her homestead by filing an annual application with the tax collector on or before March 31st following the year in which the taxes and non-ad valorem assessments are assessed. Several conditions must be met in order to defer taxes.

If an application is approved, the deferred amount will be calculated on the taxes in excess of 5% of the applicant’s household income for the prior calendar year (3% if the applicant is 65 or older) or the entire tax amount if the applicant’s household income for the prior calendar year is less than $10,000 or is less than the designated amount for the additional homestead exemption under F.S. 196.075 if the applicant is 65 years old or older.

In addition to the income requirements, several other conditions must be met. The primary mortgage may not exceed 70% of the assessed value of the homestead. All liens, deferred taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest may not exceed 85% of the homestead’s assessed value. Proof of fire and extended coverage home insurance must be in excess of all liens and deferred taxes. The insurance policy must have a loss payable clause to the Tax Collector.