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Hurricane Victims May Get Property Tax Break

Ian and Nicole victims who were forced to find temporary quarters for 30 days may qualify for a property tax discount under a law the Fla. Legislature passed in Dec.

TAMPA, Fla. – There is additional aid available for survivors of Hurricane Ian and Nicole and they may not even know it. Many Florida homeowners qualify for a break on their 2022 property taxes and could collect hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Since Hurricane Ian, Patricia Bell and Mike Cooper haven’t been able to live at home. They’re forced to rent and, at the same time, pay the mortgage on their damaged property in North Port. They say the storm is draining their life savings.

“I know it’s really been hard on her,” said Mike.

“It has. I have not handled it as well as he has,” said Patricia.

Sheryl Edwards is legal counsel for the Value Adjustment Board in Sarasota County, the governmental body responsible for hearing appeals regarding property value assessments. Edwards says the little-known law, passed in December, gives storm victims a little relief.

If your home was rendered uninhabitable due to the storm for 30 days or more, you’ll be eligible for a partial refund.

“This is brand new, so I don’t know there’s actually been criteria, and I would assume that each property appraiser is going to employ their own criteria,” said Edwards. “Surprisingly, there’s not many people who know about this new legislation.”

To claim the refund, you must file the Florida Department of Revenue Form DR-5001 with your county property appraiser by April 3.

If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to waive the refund.

Sherly says it takes time to gather required documents to prove your property was uninhabitable.

“Gather all of their evidence, photographs, documentation … an appraisal of some sort, documentation from an insurance adjuster showing the loss to the property,” Edward said.

You’re entitled to a response from the property appraiser by June 1. If you’re approved for a refund, it’ll be issued by the county tax collector.

The additional dollars are meant to help survivors recover and rebuild.

This refund is available only for victims of Hurricane Ian and Nicole.

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