Seniors benefit from tax exemption changes

Alachua County Property Appraiser's Office
Alachua County Property Appraiser's Office

Alachua County is trying to make it easier for seniors to to renew their property tax exemptions. 

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office says low-income homeowners age 65 and older no longer need to submit a household income statement each year to qualify for a senior tax exemption. The Florida Legislature recently approved the change, which will take effect July 1 for 2022 renewals.

“That’s good to know because unless I come upon a big inheritance, I don’t foresee my income going up,” said Gainesville retiree Mary Anne Flesner on a recent visit to the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office.

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The appraiser’s office issues homestead exemptions to thousands of residents each year. The senior exemption is an additional exemption granted to those 65 or older who have an adjusted gross income less than $31,100 for 2021.

“We hope the easy-to-renew option will lessen the burden on seniors who have had to submit their income statement every year,” Alachua County Property Appraiser Ayesha Solomon said.

The appraiser’s office said the change will also save staff time and staff time. 

Dan Marvel, director of customer service and exemptions, said those who qualify for senior exemptions can save up to $400 on annual county taxes.

“These exemptions apply only to the millage rates levied by the county and municipalities that have approved the exemption: the cities of Gainesville, High Springs, Micanopy and Alachua,” the appraiser’s office said in a press release. It said the exemptions do not apply to Alachua County Public Schools millage rates.

“We encourage eligible seniors to take advantage of these significant property tax exemptions,” Solomon said.

Additionally, the new state statute allows a “super seniors” exemption for those 65 and older who qualify for the first senior exemption provided they meet other requirements: live for at least 25 years in their home and its value is less than $250,000.

These “super seniors” in Alachua County are entitled to an exemption only on the millage rates levied by the county and the city of Micanopy. It hasn’t been adopted by other municipalities in the county, the appraiser’s office said. 

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