Update from Scott Randolph

Deadline to Apply for Property Tax Refund is March 1, 2019

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph is urging local property tax payers to take advantage of a new property tax refund program created by the State Legislature after Hurricane Irma devastated large portions of the state last year.

The law, Chapter No. 2018-18, which took effect on July 1, allows owners of homesteaded property that was significantly damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Hermine, Matthew or Irma to apply for a one-time property tax refund. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2019.

“With the 2018 Hurricane Season already underway, it’s important to remember that many Florida families are still suffering heavy financial burdens from Hurricane Irma,” Tax Collector Scott Randolph said. “For these families, every dollar counts. That’s why this property tax refund program is so important.”

To qualify for the program, the homesteaded property must have been uninhabitable – meaning the property was not used or occupied for a period of 30 days or more – during the calendar year in which the hurricane occurred. Property owners will need to provide documentation showing the property was uninhabitable, such as utility bills, insurance information, contractor statements, building inspections and building permit applications, and sign a sworn application with the Property Appraiser’s office.

The refund amount will be based on the number of days the property was uninhabitable and the property’s just value as determined by the Property Appraiser as of January 1 of the storm year and the following year. Refunds will be issued after payment of 2019 property taxes is received by the Tax Collector; 2019 property taxes are payable beginning November 1, 2019.

After a property owner completes the application, the Property Appraiser’s office will conduct an investigation and forward all eligible applications to the Tax Collector’s office by April 1, 2019.

To apply, complete the Application for Abatement of Taxes for Homestead Residential Improvements at octaxcol.com/forms.