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A Florida Homeowner’s Guide: Property Tax Relief for Hurricanes Ian and Nicole

Did you know that Florida homeowners affected by Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole may be eligible for property tax relief? Here, we explain how to apply for a partial tax refund of 2022 property taxes if your home was impacted by Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole.

Our Florida property damage lawyers can help you with your hurricane damage insurance claim.

Am I Eligible for Tax Relief

A homeowner may be eligible for a partial refund of their 2022 property taxes if a residential improvement was rendered uninhabitable for at least 30 days due to Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole. To be eligible for a partial property tax relief, the property must be “uninhabitable.” How do you determine if your property qualified as “uninhabitable”?

Under section 197.3181, Florida Statutes (F.S.), uninhabitable is defined as the “loss of use and occupancy of a residential improvement for the purpose for which it was constructed resulting from damage to or destruction of, or from a condition that compromises the structural integrity of, the residential improvement which Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole caused during the 2022 calendar year.” 

You should also check if your homeowner’s insurance policy includes loss of use coverage. This coverage pays for the inconvenience of not being able to use a home when a covered event, such as a hurricane, makes a house temporarily uninhabitable. 

How to Apply for Tax Relief

If you meet the uninhabitable requirement the next step is to review and complete the application process. Please note that the deadline to complete the application is April 3, 2023. 

First, you will need to contact a county property appraiser for your county. The property appraiser will then provide you with a copy of the Application for Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole Tax Relief form (Department of Revenue Form DR-5001).

This form will capture the number of days your property was uninhabitable and will include a perjury statement for you to sign, attesting to your claim. Additionally, you must provide supporting documentation that will determine or not whether the property was uninhabitable. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Utility bills
  • Insurance information
  • Contractors’ statements
  • Building permit applications
  • Building inspection certificates of occupancy.

Concept of tax relief for hurricanes Ian and Nicole

When you’re documenting the damage to your home and belongings, it’s a good idea to take photos and videos. This will help show how much damage there was in each area and give a better sense of what repairs are needed.

This completed application, including required documentation, must be filed with the county property appraiser by April 3, 2023. A homeowner who fails to apply by April 3, 2023, waives their claim for tax relief.

Additionally, it is important to note that there is a maximum number of days in 2022 that can be claimed for each hurricane. For Hurricane Ian, you can claim a maximum of 95 days and for Hurricane Nicole, you can claim a maximum of 52 days.

When Will I Know If My Application Was Approved? 

The person responsible for approving or denying a homeowner’s eligibility for tax relief is the property appraiser. They will then notify the applicant by no later than June 1, 2023, on whether or not they are eligible. If the applicant is eligible, the property appraiser will also notify the tax collector of their eligibility for a refund. 

If the applicant is found ineligible for tax relief, they can still request a refund by filing a petition with the value adjustment board. However, this petition must be filed on or before the 30th day following the issuance of the notice by the property appraiser.

How Is the Refund Amount Calculated?

So, if you are deemed eligible for tax relief, when can you expect to receive your refund? These refunds will be processed and calculated by the tax collector and issued once the 2022 property taxes have been paid by the homeowner. If these taxes have already been paid, the refund will be issued immediately.

For all approved refund applications, the property appraiser is required to provide the tax collector with:

  • January 1, 2022, just the value of the residential improvement
  • The number of days during 2022 that the residential improvement was uninhabitable
  • The post-disaster just value of the residential parcel
  • The percent change in value applicable to the residential parcel.

The tax collector will calculate this refund by applying the percentage change in value to the number of days that the residential improvement was uninhabitable. Here are the steps to calculate the estimated refund.

  1. Calculate the just value of the residential property pre-disaster and post-disaster.
  2. Subtract the post-disaster value from the pre-disaster value and then divide the difference by the pre-disaster value to find the percent change.
  3. Calculate the percent of days the residence was uninhabitable by dividing the number of days the residence was uninhabitable by the number of days in the year.
  4. Multiply the percent change in value by the percent of uninhabitable days to calculate the damage differential calculation.
  5. Multiply the damage differential calculation with the total 2022 property taxes to calculate the final refund due. 

Get Help With Your Hurricane Damage Claim!

If your home was damaged in a hurricane, you should contact a property damage lawyer to help you with your insurance claim. Here at Klotzman Property Damage Law, we advocate for fair compensation so you can adequately repair any damage.

Schedule your free case review today with our Florida property damage attorneys. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds. 

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