Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Homestead exemption deadline draws crowd to Hernando Property Appraiser's Office

Patricia Vance, 78, of Brooksville beats Monday’s deadline to fill out an application for a $50,000 homestead exemption made available to certain low-income seniors. Vance completed the paperwork at the Property Appraiser’s Office in Brooksville.

MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times

Patricia Vance, 78, of Brooksville beats Monday’s deadline to fill out an application for a $50,000 homestead exemption made available to certain low-income seniors. Vance completed the paperwork at the Property Appraiser’s Office in Brooksville.

BROOKSVILLE — With the window of opportunity closing for low-income seniors wanting to take advantage of the new $50,000 homestead exemption, thousands of last-minute filers swarmed to the county Property Appraiser's Office this past week.

More than 3,600 applications were filed in February, according to Paulette Stearns, director of public service and exemptions in the Property Appraiser's Office. Workers fielded more than 8,000 phone calls from residents wanting to know how to qualify for the exemption.

"It surprised us to a degree," Stearns said Monday, the final day to file for this year. "It slowed down some today, but it was still pretty busy."

Stearns said the complex criteria seemed to leave many applicants confused about what they needed to do to receive the senior homestead tax break that Hernando voters approved in a Jan. 29 referendum. Others said they were unsure of what specific documents they had to file by the deadline in order to receive the exemption.

In order to quality for the additional $50,000 exemption, homeowners must have the existing $25,000 homestead exemption and at least one owner must be 65 or older, as of Jan. 1. In addition, total adjusted gross income for all members of the household cannot exceed $24,916 in 2007.

The additional $50,000 exemption would reduce a homeowner's tax bill by $317 or more, based on the countywide property tax rate approved last year. Stearns said the figure does not include reductions in other taxes levied by the County Commission in certain regions of the county or school taxes.

Stearns said that many applicants were concerned they would be unable to meet Monday's deadline because they had not yet prepared their federal income tax returns. Applicants have until June 1 to file proof-of-income statements.

"We were getting a lot of IRS-type questions that we simply couldn't answer," Stearns said.

Meanwhile, Stearns said the Property Appraiser's Office is gearing up for another round of tax questions dealing with new tax-portability guidelines, which will allow home­owners to carry portions of their tax savings with them to a new property.

Although the deadline for the application was Monday, Stearns said that Hernando County Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek extended the deadline for an undetermined amount of time.

Stearns said Mazourek, in Tallahassee this week, was concerned that some homeowners may not yet be aware that they are eligible for portability. To date, Stearns said, her office has received about 800 of the 1,200 forms mailed to home­owners.

Stearns said that although the new tax rules put her office in crunch mode during February, she is confident that things will get easier in the future.

"It's a learning curve," Stearns said. "We'll be taking a look at what we need to do to simplify it."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or 848-1435.

Homestead exemption deadline draws crowd to Hernando Property Appraiser's Office 03/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2008 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility

    World

    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia

    World

    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]