General Exemption Information | Lee County Real Estate Appraiser (2023)

Family welfare exemptions



Florida law requires application to be submitted by March 1calle(late filing accepted and processed under current Florida law) to be eligible for a Homestead Exemption of up to $50,000. Only new applicants or those who have changed residence should apply. Automatic renewals are sent in January of each year.

  • Download Homestead Exemption Forms
  • View the exemption information leaflet

What is Homestead Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption is a Constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption that is removed from the appraised value of your property. Awarded to applicants who have royal title and are bona fide residents of Florida who live in the home and make it their permanent residence on January 1. Documentation is required to show that you were a resident of the family property.

(Video) Lee County Property Appraiser Website Navigation

Farm Real Estate IncomeHomeowners who receive the family property exemption in their residence should be aware that personally renting their property or renting it through sharing or sharing companies can constitute abandonment and, therefore, loss of housing tax exemption. Lease generally means exclusive use by a tenant on a temporary, seasonal or annual basis. If you plan to rent, contact the appropriate legal advisors to make sure you are not jeopardizing your homestead exemption. Giving up your homestead exemption will increase your property taxes.

Value limitations (limits)Homestead exempt properties automatically receive the "Save Our Homes" benefit. This is a Constitutional benefit passed by Florida voters in 1992. It imposes a 3% cap on the annual valuation increase for homestead properties beginning in tax year 1995. For properties granted tax-exempt housing in prior years , this assessment value will be the value basis for the implementation of "Save Our Homes". Thereafter, the appraised value will not increase by more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Exceptions to this limitation include new additions or buildings that have escaped the tax in the past. When a property is sold, the appraised value returns to fair market value within one year of the sale. This assessment then becomes the base value of the new homeowner/applicant. for the purposes of "Saving Our Homes". More information onConsumer Price Index (CPI)It is available at the IRS.


You can apply for the Homestead Exemption by mail, in person, or online If you are filing online, please read the online filing instructions carefully to determine eligibility. If you are applying by mail, you can download an application form, fill it out, attach the necessary documentation, and mail the form to our office. If you are not a registered voter and cannot provide a photocopy of your Declaration of Registered Residence, you must come to the Assessor's office to complete this registration form. Contact information:, Phone: (239) 533-6100, Physical Location: Constitution Complex, 2480 Thompson St, 4th Floor, Fort Myers Florida 33901 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. m. and 5:00 p.m. From Monday to Friday.

To qualify for the homestead exemption, you must own the property (have legal title/interest) and permanently reside/occupy the property. You must be able to document that you resided on your property as of January 1 by providing proof of issuing a Florida driver's license and Lee County voter registration (both show the property address as the registered home address) . Non-voters must complete a Declaration of Residency (available from our office). Additional information is required and is described below. Please review the following information carefully.

  1. Applicants must have a valid Florida driver's license.If you are applying in person, please provide the original license at the time of application. If applying by mail, please provide a photocopy instead of the original. You must provide a photocopy of the front and back of the license. See F.S.322.19for change of name/address requirements associated with your driver's license or Florida ID. card. A Florida ID card can ONLY be used if you do not have a driver's license in any other jurisdiction. (A “Valid ONLY in Florida” license is not accepted.)
  2. Florida license plate number is required and must be registered in each applicant's name.If you own multiple vehicles, at least one vehicle must be registered in Florida. Leased vehicles must be registered in Florida. Company-owned vehicles do not require Florida registration (license tags).
  3. If you are a US citizen- provide yourLee County, Florida Electoral RegistryCard or, if you do not vote, you will be asked to complete and present a Declaration of Residency. Your voter identification address must be your new home address. If you have not already registered an address, you can obtain the address form from the valuer's office. Non-voters cannot register online.
  4. Proof of US citizenship may be required.IF YOU ARE NOT A US CITIZEN– must have a valid Permanent Resident Alien Card or proof that your card has been approved. Proof of asylum is also accepted. A Declaration of Domicile must be filed in Florida. Temporary visas and work visas do not qualify. To apply by mail, you must send a legible copy of the front and back of your permanent resident card and a copy of your registered address statement. See #3 (above) for information on how to file the address statement. (Must be issued from 1/1)
  5. Social Security Number is required for all applicants and the spouse of all applicants. If you are married, you must provide your spouse's Social Security number, even if the spouse does not own the property and is not applying for the exemption.
  6. Date of birth of the applicant(s).
  7. proof of ownership– Copy of Lee County bill of sale or registered deed to prove ownership of the property for which you are applying for exemption. Trust ownership requires a copy of the trust/certificate of trust/proof of applicant's qualifications as stated in the trust. Trustees must sign the application as a Trustee, ie John Doe, Trustee of the John Doe Trust.
  8. Proof that you (or your spouse) do not receive residency exemption or tax credit in another jurisdiction: You cannot claim residency exemption, tax credit or reversal in any other state or county while receiving the exemption in Lee County.Also, if you are married, your spouse cannot receive an exemption, tax credit or reduction in any other jurisdiction unless you have documentary evidence to prove your parents' unit.Section 6 (b) Article VII, FL Constitutionprovides that no more than one exemption shall be allowed to any individual orfamily unit. To document the removal of any other exemptions, a statement from the jurisdiction is required stating that residency-based benefits are not being applied, or if residency-based exemptions or tax credits have applied, they have been removed. You can use this document:Out-of-State Exemption Removal Formto meet this requirement. You will be asked to sign a statement stating that you have been informed of the policy regarding multiple waivers and that you are responsible for removing any other waivers to qualify in Lee County. Additional information may be required.
  9. When you qualify for the Florida Homestead exemption, any state tax returns filed on your behalf must be filed as a non-resident or part-time resident of that state to continue to qualify as a Florida resident. Contact your CPA or tax preparer for information on filing out-of-state tax returns once you become a Florida resident. Proof of state declaration as a part-time or non-resident worker may be required when updating your exemption requirements.

Who is entitled to request the exemption?

Those whose names appear on the deed and who reside on the property as of January 1st and who are bona fide residents of Florida as of January 1st are eligible to apply.Temporary or seasonal rental of homestead may be considered abandonment of the homestead exemption; contact the PA office for information.

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* Regardless of the type of tenancy, it is recommended that all persons whose names appear on the deed and reside in the property apply for the waiver to safeguard their benefits from future changes of ownership due to death, divorce or other changes.Properties used as rentals (seasonal or annual) do not qualify as family property. Please contact the appraiser for more information about rentals.

Please visit our website or contact our office for additional information on exemptions; You may be entitled to other exemptions in addition to those listed below:

  • MAIN EXEMPTION:All Lee County residents, age 65 or older on January 1, whose annual adjusted gross household income does not exceed the required income threshold are eligible. Revenue caps are adjusted annually (Instructions for seniors and downloadable forms). information about himcurrent income limitfor this exemption and more information about theConsumer Price Index (CPI)It is available at the IRS.
  • $500 WIDOW/WIDOW WAIVER- To apply for the widowhood or widowhood exemption, you must be a widow or widower before JANUARY 1 of the tax year and provide proof of your spouse's death. Divorced persons do not qualify for this exemption.
  • $500 DISABILITY WAIVER - Veteran/Non-Veteran– Florida residents who provide proof of permanent and total disability or proof of legal blindness may qualify. Certification from a Florida physician or a statement from the Division of Services for the Blind is required. No proof of income is required. (Florida Medical Disability Certification Formsare available in our office or can be downloaded from our website).
  • SURVIVING SPOUSE OF THE FIRST RESPONDENT WHO DIED IN THE FULFILLMENT OF DUTY EXEMPTION– Any real property owned and used as a residence by the surviving spouse of a first responder who was killed in the line of duty while employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state, including special authorities and districts, and for whom a letter was issued by the state or subdivision appropriate policy of the state, or other special authority or district, legally acknowledging and certifying that the lifeguard died in the line of duty while employed as a lifeguard is tax-exempt if the lifeguard the lifeguard and his/her spouse survivor was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the lifeguard died.
  • $5,000 DISABILITY WAIVER FOR VETERANS– An honorably discharged former service member designated as 10% to 99% disabled due to wartime or service-related misfortune may qualify. The veteran's surviving spouse may also qualify for this exemption. (Provide VA documentation indicating percentage of service-related disability.)
  • VETERAN - EXEMPTION FROM TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY– An honorably discharged veteran with a total and permanent service-related disability may qualify for a full ad valorem tax exemption. (Provide VA documentation indicating total and permanent service-related disability.)
  • VETERANS EXEMPTIONS- ADDITIONAL exemptions available for qualified veterans age 65 and older and qualified military personnel deployed; Contact our office for more information.
  • TOTAL EXEMPTION FROM AD VALOREM TAXATION ON RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE- Section196.101, F.S. provides that real estate owned by any quadriplegic is exempt from taxation:no income limit for quadriplegics. Paraplegics, hemiplegics or other persons with total and permanent disabilities, who need to move around in a wheelchair, or are legally blind and present proof of this fact, will be exempt from ad valorem taxes - Income limitation applies - proof ofgross incomerequired and/or other official certification of disability is required. (Florida Medical Disability Certification Formsare available in our office or can be downloaded from our website).

It is the responsibility of each contributor to annually verify SOH exemption/portability status and notify the Reviewer of any corrections. The Notice of Proposed Taxes (Aviso TRIM) sent annually in mid-August documents your exemption and SOH status. Check your exemption and/or portability status in the Notice of Proposed Taxes. If your exemption status is not documented in the Notice, please contact our office immediately. If you do not provide all qualifying documentation by the deadline set forth in the TRIM Notice, you will lose your Waiver/SOH benefit for the current tax year. Waivers are not granted retroactively and do not automatically transfer to your new home. You must apply for the SOH benefit waiver and portability (if applicable) each time you purchase and move into a new residence. Please govern yourself accordingly. ** "Date occupied" is required and used to determine eligibility. The occupancy date is not necessarily determined by the closing date of your new property or the sale date of your previous home or the date you file the waiver application. The date of occupancy is the date you reside in the property and consider the property to be your primary and permanent residence; Issuing your driver's license and voter registration card at your home address also proves your physical presence on a specific date and is used to determine your eligibility.

Where (how) to apply for Homestead?

To better serve Lee County residents, we are now accepting Homestead Exemption requests by mail. The letter of instruction and application form can be obtained by visiting our website If you prefer to apply in person, you may do so at our main office located at 2480 Thompson Street, 4th Floor, Fort Myers, Florida, between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. m. and 5:00 p.m. From Monday to Friday. You can submit your application by mail. Be sure to include all necessary documentation and information when submitting your application. Incomplete applications cannot be processed and will be returned to you for completion.Submit your application by mailto Lee County Property Appraiser, P O Box 1546, Fort Myers, Florida 33902. Timely applications must be posted by midnight on March 1 of the year in which you qualify for the waiver. You may submit late applications which will be processed in accordance with Florida Statutes. If you think you might qualify, apply right away.

To apply in personyou must apply at 2480 Thompson Street, 4th Floor, Fort Myers, Florida 33901. Make sure you have all necessary documentation/information when you visit our office to apply. Opening hours are from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. m. at 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The Office of the Property Appraiser is closed due to holidays scheduled by the Lee County Board of Commissioners. See our "Observed Holidays List" on the homepage of our website

(Video) Understanding Your Notice of Proposed Property Taxes Educational Session

You can visit your public library to download an application or submit it online.

The Lee County Tax Collector's Office does not provide exemption application forms and cannot assist you in filing an exemption.

The top four reasons you could lose your homestead exemption

  • Rent your property for more than 30 days per calendar year for 2 consecutive years, or rent from January 1st of any tax year.
  • Hold or obtain a driver's license in any other state. The driver's license is based on residency.
  • They are registered to vote elsewhere. Lee County must be the only county in which you are registered to vote.
  • Maintain or obtain exemption, reduction, benefit, credit, etc. out-of-state residency-based taxes (eg, NY STAR, Veteran's Exemption, Senior Citizen's Exemption, etc.). This requirement applies to joint ownership by a married couple, even if only one applies for a homestead exemption here and the other applies for an out-of-state tax credit. If you are currently in this category, you must cancel your out-of-state tax benefit(s) beginning January 1 of the year you claimed your homestead exemption. If either spouse owns another property in Florida, even individually, only one property can have an exemption based on residency.


If you have title to a mobile home and the land on which it is situated and the mobile home is permanently attached to the land, you can apply to the Property Appraiser to have the property valued as real property. This app requires you to purchase an "RP" sticker from the tax collector's office. You must order the patch between January 1st and March 1st. Homestead exemption may be allowed if the mobile home meets the above requirements and the owner meets the requirements for the exemption.

When no individual owns the land, as is the case with some trailer parks, the park is taxed for the land in its entirety (real property) and improvements made to the trailer are taxed as Tangible Personal Property. However, you must still purchase an annual "MH" tag for the mobile home from the taxman's office.


An agricultural classification is the appraiser's designation of ownership of a piece of land in accordance with F.S.193.461, where the valuation is based on agricultural use value.

To qualify for the agricultural classification, a declaration must be filed with the real estate appraiser between January 1st and March 1st of the tax year. Only land used for bona fide agricultural purposes will be classified as agricultural. "Bona fide agricultural purposes" means bona fide commercial agricultural use of land.

The Property Assessor, prior to classifying such land, may request the taxpayer or the taxpayer's representative to provide the information reasonably necessary to establish that such land is actually used for bona fide agricultural purposes.

(Video) Exemptions Panel Discussion - August, 2021

The Real Estate Appraiser may deny agricultural qualification to the following lands:

  • Land that is not being used or diverted from agricultural use
  • Land that has been zoned as non-agricultural at the owner's request
  • Land on which a subdivision parcel is registered
  • Land that is purchased for a price three or more times the agricultural valuation placed on the land


Florida offers two avenues for property tax exemptions for conservation easements, environmentally threatened lands and other conservation areas that preserve the natural landscape and ecosystem. The first is a classification of conservation lands. The second is the Property Tax Exemption.

To qualify for theclassification or exemption, the application must be submitted to the real estate appraiser between January 1st and March 1st of the tax year.


Any person who knowingly provides false information for the purpose of claiming the Homestead Exemption is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in prison and/or a fine of $5,000.196.131, F. S.

Send your questions about exemptions


What is the real estate tax exemption in Lee County FL? ›

Homestead Exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption removed from the assessed value of your property. It is granted to those applicants who possess title to real property and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home on January 1.

How do I prove my homestead exemption in Florida? ›

You will receive a receipt by mail as proof that your exemption application was received and processed within 45 days of filing.
Required Documentation for Homestead Exemption Application
  1. Your recorded deed or tax bill.
  2. Florida Drivers License or Identification Card. ...
  3. Vehicle Registration. ...
  4. Permanent Resident Alien Card.

How does the 5000$ Property Tax exemption work in Florida? ›

Veteran's Disability ($5,000)

A $5,000 exemption is available on property owned by an honorably discharged veteran with a service connected disability of 10% or greater. This is in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption. The applicant is required to be a permanent and legal resident of Florida.

How do I get a 50000 homestead exemption in Florida? ›

To get a homestead deduction on your Florida taxes, you have to fill out an application form, the DR-501 , and demonstrate proof of residence by March 1 of the year for which you wish to qualify.

What are the exemptions from real property tax? ›

“Charitable institutions, churches, parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit or religious cemeteries and all lands, buildings and improvements actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes.”

What property tax exemptions do I qualify for in Florida? ›

Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1st and makes the property his or her permanent residence is eligible to receive a Homestead Exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes.

At what age do you stop paying property taxes in FL? ›

There is an additional $50,000 homestead exemption (FLORIDA STATUTE 196.075) for person 65 and older. The adjusted gross income requirement for 2023 cannot exceed $35,167 for all members of the household. An application DR 501SC must be submitted along proof of income.

How long does it take for homestead exemption to take effect in Florida? ›

This takes effect on January 1 after you purchase the property. will not take effect until the following year. For example, you bought your home in September last year. The previous owner owned the home for 12 years and had the homestead exemption.

Can homestead rights be waived in Florida? ›

The Florida homestead exemption is contained in article X, section 4(a)(1) of the Florida Constitution 1. While the exemption can be waived in a mortgage, the Florida Supreme Court has previously held that it cannot be waived in an unsecured agreement.

Are seniors exempt from property taxes in Lee County? ›

Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption (PDF)

An exemption is available to qualified senior citizens who are at least 65 years of age. The Chief County Assessment Office administrates this exemption. Homeowners should apply for this $5,000 exemption anytime during the year they turn 65.

Do seniors get a discount on property taxes in Florida? ›

There is an additional $50,000 homestead exemption (FLORIDA STATUTE 196.075) for person 65 and older. The adjusted gross income requirement for 2023 cannot exceed $35,167 for all members of the household. An application DR 501SC must be submitted along proof of income.

Do seniors in Florida pay property taxes over 65? ›

Senior Exemption Information

The property must qualify for a homestead exemption. At least one homeowner must be 65 years old as of January 1. Total 'Household Adjusted Gross Income' for everyone who lives on the property cannot exceed statutory limits.

What is senior homestead exemption in Lee County Florida? ›

Homestead Exemption for Seniors with Limited Income

An exemption not exceeding $50,000 to any person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate, maintains their permanent residence on the property, is 65 or older, and whose household income does not exceed the household income limitation.


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