On October 20, 2022, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 22-242 offering relief to Floridians whose property has been completely destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable in the form of extended deadlines for filing ad valorem property taxes and non-ad valorem assessments levied in 2022. Normally, ad valorem property taxes are assessed on each county’s tax rolls and are collected by the county tax collector are due and payable on November 1 and become delinquent April 1. Now, with the signing of this executive order, these taxes will be due and payable on January 1, 2023. In addition, these taxes and assessments will now become delinquent on June 1, 2023 instead of the April 1. Finally, “all dates and time periods, and their associated provisions, relative to the collection of, or administrative procedures regarding, delinquent taxes and non-ad valorem assessments, including but not limited to the sale of tax certificates, are similarly extended based on the June 1, 2023 delinquency date.”
According to the executive order, the extended deadlines are available for the property owners of the 26 affected counties that FEMA designated eligible for the Individual Assistance Program whose homes have been completely destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable. The affected counties are: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia.
Remember, you must meet both criteria to qualify: own a home in one of the 26 affected counties and your home must have been completely destroyed or otherwise uninhabitable.
Planned Special Session to Further Address this Issue
Fortunately, this is not the only relief planned for Florida property owners affected by Hurricane Ian. Governor DeSantis is also working with the Legislature to call a Special Session in December. The Special Session will be aimed at addressing property tax obligations, providing needed economic relief to the Residents of Southwest Florida, and addressing solutions to stabilize Florida’s property insurance market to introduce more competition and lower prices for consumers.
The Legislature can only act within the call of the Special Session and, at this point, the parameters of the call are unclear. At a press conference on October 25, Governor DeSantis hinted at some of the potential topics to be covered in the upcoming Special Session. Those topics may include rebates of property taxes for homes destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Hurricane Ian, building on property insurance deductible assistance for low and fixed income individuals, and various appropriations that may help local governments and families offset the costs of recovery. The Special Session will focus on both short and long term relief and recovery efforts for those affected, with the opportunity to add to or tweak any missing pieces during the 2023 Regular Session, which will begin preliminary Committee Weeks in January.
While dates for the Special Session have not been announced, we can expect to see a call for a Special Session in early to mid-December, well after the November Elections.