A calamity occurs when your home is physically damaged or destroyed by an event beyond your control. Events such as fire or hurricanes would qualify as calamity. This applies to both homesteaded and non-homesteaded property. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to notify the Office of the Property Appraiser of damage or destruction as soon as possible.
Any damage or destruction that occurred due to calamity or misfortune will be reflected as of January 1 of the following tax roll year. The Property Appraiser will consider the condition of the property as of January 1 and any repairs that have been made and completed by January 1, will be taken into account. Since the valuation of your property is done in arrears, the recognition of damage still present as of January 1, cannot be accounted for until the following tax roll year.
Under normal circumstances, any improvements made to your property would be assessed at full market value once substantially completed. However, under the calamity provision, any changes, additions or improvements made to the dwelling as a result of calamity, are protected from being assessed at full market value.
Repair and Reconstruction
Under the Florida Statutes, if your property dwelling is damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity, the assessed value may not be increased due to the required changes, additions or improvements that replace all or a portion of the property when:
- The total square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 1,500 square feet; or
- The square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 110 percent of the square footage in existence prior to the damage or destruction.
Once repaired or rebuilt and deemed substantially complete, the dwelling will be assessed as if the damage or destruction had not occurred.
Changes, additions or improvements that exceed 110 percent of the original square footage prior to the calamity of that exceed the 1500 square foot limitation will be assessed at Just Value for those portions that exceed those thresholds.
For example, if your home was 2,200 square feet prior to the calamity and you rebuilt your home adding 500 square feet, 280 square feet (2,700-2,420) will be assessed at full market value when substantially complete. Likewise, if your home was 1,200 square feet prior to the calamity and a new 1,600 square foot home is constructed, 100 square feet (1,600-1,500) will be assessed at full market value when substantially complete. See table below:
|Guideline||Original||New (Rebuilt) SF||Allowed SF||Difference Assessed at Just (Market) Value|
|110% of the original SF||2,200 SF||2,700||2,420 SF (2,200 + 10%)||280 SF (2,700-2,420)|
|1500 SF||1,200 SF||1,600 SF||1,500 SF||100 SF (1,600-1,500)|
Important: Changes, additions or improvements must commence within three (3) years after January 1, following the damage or destruction of the homestead.
Example: Calamity occurs in September of 2017. Repair or reconstruction must be started (not completed) by December 31, 2020 (Roll years 2018, 2019 & 2020 following the calamity)
The calamity provision does not apply to site improvements or miscellaneous yard items. If these items did sustain damage, the Office of the Property Appraiser will reflect that damage, however, once repaired or rebuilt, those items will be assessed at full market value the tax roll following their completion.
Homesteaded Property and Calamity
- In order to qualify for the calamity provision and/or retain his/her homestead exemption, the homeowner of the property must have been permanently residing on the property when the damage or destruction occurred.
- For homesteaded properties that are uninhabitable, the property owner must notify the Property Appraiser by March 1, following the calamity, that he or she intends to repair or rebuild the uninhabitable property and intends to live in the property as his or her primary residence after the property is repaired or rebuilt and does not claim a homestead on any other property or otherwise violate his or her homestead eligibility. Please complete the Application to Maintain Homestead Exemption on Homesteaded Property Made Uninhabitable by Misfortune or Calamity. If we do not receive this notification from the homeowner by March 1, of the year following the calamity, the homestead exemption will be removed.
- Failure by the property owner to commence the repair or rebuilding of the homestead property within three (3) years after the January 1 following the property’s damage or destruction constitutes abandonment of the property as a homestead. After that three-year period, the expiration, lapse, non-renewal, or revocation of a building permit issued to the property owner for such repairs or rebuilding also qualifies as abandonment of the property as homestead.