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Duval Property Appraiser Warns Against Homestead-Exemption Fraud

HOUSE
Allan Ferguson via Flickr
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Jacksonville homeowners will soon receive postcards alerting them their property-tax homestead exemptions are being renewed.

Homeowners in Florida can claim the homestead tax exemption for their primary residence.

 

 

Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland says those who no longer qualify must let the office know, because exemption-fraud will lead to heavy fines.

 

“Really the card is just to say, ‘Hey, listen we’ve got you down for the exemption. You don’t have to do anything else,’” he says. “The key is what we’re trying to tell people, is if your exemption status has changed, you better let us know.”

 

He says some people unintentionally commit homestead-exemption fraud, like when two people who own homes get married and both continue claiming exemptions.

 

Holland says his office will be cracking down.

 

“We also can take whatever tax that you went...and didn’t pay, we can increase that by 50 percent, plus charge you 15 percent interest,” Holland says. Some offenders have had to pay up to $40,000 in back taxes and fines, he says.

Holland says anyone unsure whether they qualify should contact his office and ask.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.