Tax Relief in Sight for Property Owners Who Suffered Hurricane Damage

Property Tax Refund Offered for Owners of Residential Homesteaded Properties
Damaged by 2016 and 2017 Storms

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – While most Pinellas homeowners weathered the storms, some are still recovering from the damage left behind by the 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons. For those property owners who weren’t so fortunate, relief is in sight. Thanks to a new Florida law, homesteaded residential property owners who suffered hurricane damage from Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, or Irma can now apply for a one-time property tax refund.

To apply, visit the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s website, select the “Forms/Change of Address” tab, and select Application for Abatement of Taxes. Print and sign the form and submit it to your county Property Appraiser via email, fax, or in person by March 1, 2019. You must also submit proof your property was unlivable, such as utility bills, insurance information, or building permit applications.

To qualify, your property must have been uninhabitable for a minimum of 30 days in 2016 or 2017 due to one of the three named storms (Hermine, Matthew or Irma). The refund amount is based on the number of days the property was uninhabitable as well as the property’s value, as determined by the Property Appraiser, on January 1 of both the storm year and the following year.

After submitting the application, the Property Appraiser will review your case and notify you and the Tax Collector if you qualify for a refund. Refunds will be issued after you pay your 2019 property tax bill, which is payable from November 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

“We are grateful that the Governor and Florida Legislature sided with homeowners to make this property tax abatement program a reality,” said Mike Twitty, Pinellas County Property Appraiser.

Twitty’s staff will work closely with Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas to ensure all qualified property owners receive the appropriate refund.

“We have already started that dialogue and will coordinate with other Florida Tax Collectors to create a fair and uniform approach,” said Thomas. “For homeowners who suffered extensive hurricane damage, we want you to know that there’s a team in place to help you with this process.”

Another key piece of this tax reduction package affects homesteaded owners who sold their hurricane damaged home and bought, or intend to buy, a new home. There’s a new provision in place to protect their Save-Our-Homes CAP differential by allowing them to elect to receive the assessment cap differential of the January 1st before the storm or hurricane and apply it to the new homestead, allowing homeowners to preserve their Cap differential and effectively gain an additional year of portability.  Their new homestead must be established by the second January 1st post-storm to qualify. For more information and a personalized review of your specific case, contact the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Exemption Department at (727) 464-3207.

Summary

WHAT: Mike Twitty, Pinellas County Property Appraiser, and Charles W. Thomas, Pinellas County Tax Collector, announce a new property tax refund for property owners who suffered hurricane damage during the 2016 and 2017 storm seasons.

WHO: Residential homesteaded property owners in Pinellas County and throughout Florida may be eligible.

QUALIFICATIONS: The property must be homesteaded and have been uninhabitable for a minimum of 30 days during 2016 or 2017 due to damage from Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, or Irma. The property owner must also submit an Application for Abatement of Taxes for Homestead Residential Improvements, along with supporting documentation showing that the property was not fit to live in, to their county Property Appraiser’s Office.

WHERE: The application can be found online at the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s website at www.pcpao.org.

WHEN: The deadline to submit the application is March 1, 2019. If approved by the Property Appraiser, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office will issue a tax refund after you pay your 2019 property tax bill, which is payable November 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

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ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit taxcollect.com.

ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE: Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty and his staff are dedicated to producing a fair and equitable tax roll while providing courteous and efficient customer service. For more information, visit www.pcpao.org.