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October 26, 2007

Governor Crist and Florida Cabinet Extend Deadline for Homestead Repairs

Repairs or rebuilding of homesteaded property damaged by 2004 named storm must begin by January 1, 2008

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet last week extended the deadline to qualify for the full Save Our Homes protection for repairs to homes damaged by a 2004 named tropical storm or hurricane. For purposes of property assessment and retaining the Save Our Homes protection, homestead owners in this situation must begin repairs or rebuilding to their homestead by January 1, 2008, rather than complete the repairs or rebuilding by that date. The rule is based on a law enacted by the 2007 Legislature.

"Floridians whose homes were damaged during the 2004 hurricane season should be aware of the deadline extension," said Lisa Echeverri, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue. "The new January 1 deadline gives homeowners more time to contact their local property appraisers and make the necessary preparations."

Beginning the rebuilding process before January 1 will meet the requirement for retaining the full Save Our Homes protection for rebuilt property, as long as the square footage of the replaced property does not exceed 110 percent of the destroyed property. In addition, homes having a square footage of 1,350 square feet or less may rebuild up to 1,500 square feet and still qualify for their full Save Our Homes protection.

Ms. Echeverri advises homestead owners whose homes were damaged by a 2004 named storm to contact their local property appraiser as soon as possible so they will be able to meet the deadline. For answers about general tax issues, please call 1-800-352-3671, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET).