Help us prevent Homestead Fraud!
What is Homestead Fraud?
Homestead Fraud occurs when a person who has filed for homestead exemption or is currently receiving homestead exemption is determined not to be a permanent resident of Gulf County, or who is not in good faith residing on the property on which he or she filed.
What does the law say?
Pursuant to Sections 193.155 (9) and 196.161 of the Florida Statutes , property owners who intentionally cheat on their homestead exemption will have a tax lien placed against their properties, be back taxed for up to 10 years (as applicable), be required to pay a sizable penalty (50% of the unpaid taxes for each year), and pay interest at a rate of 15% per year.
How does this affect me?
Fraudulent homestead exemptions steal from our law enforcement, our schools, and our fire and EMS service and can lower our quality of life in Gulf County. Those tax dollars have to be made up somewhere, and the honest tax payers get stuck making up the difference.
What can I do to help?
If you know or suspect homestead fraud is taking place or if you have any evidence of a property being rented (advertisement or name of Realtor that is managing the property) please provide this information to Property Appraiser’s office. You can do it CONFIDENTIALLY by calling our office.
Is Homestead Exemption removed when the property is sold?
Homestead Exemption stays on the property the year of the sale but is removed the following year. The new owner must apply for the exemption no later than March 1 of the next year. If the sale occurs after March 1 of the sale year, the new owner may file early for the exemption which will be applied the following year.