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Supreme Court to Hear Property Tax Fight

Should a homeowner get the full homestead exemption if they rent out bedrooms? Two courts have said yes, but the Fla. Supreme Court will now take up the case.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court said it will take up a dispute about whether a resident is entitled to a full homestead property-tax exemption after renting two bedrooms to tenants.

Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst took the issue to the Supreme Court after the Second District Court of Appeal rejected a decision by Furst in 2020. Furst says that homeowner Rod Rebholz is entitled to a homestead exemption on only 85% of the residence because bedrooms were rented out.

Rebholz filed a lawsuit to challenge the property appraiser’s decision, and a Sarasota County circuit judge sided with Rebholz. Later, the appeals court agreed that the home should not be divided up for tax purposes.

It’s unclear when the Florida Supreme Court might render a decision, and an order issued Friday did not set a date for oral arguments.