Homeowners should file for homestead exemption at their local county’s tax assessor’s office the January after closing on their home.
Homestead exemption identifies your property as your primary residence so you may receive an exemption that could save you up to $300 a year on your property taxes. Now what could you do with an extra $300 a year?
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to take advantage of the exemption privilege as it is not granted automatically. If you forget to file your homestead you can definitely expect an increase in your mortgage payment because your property taxes are estimated under the assumption your property will be homesteaded!
To apply for homestead exemption you will need to bring the following documents to your respective county’s tax assessor’s office:
- recorded Warranty Deed
- Social Security numbers & birth dates of homeowner, spouse and any joint owners
- license tag numbers of all vehicles owned by you or in your possession
- cost of home (this information can be found on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement)
Homeowners only need to file once unless there are changes in the legal status of your home. Common changes which could result in new filing are moving to a new home, change in marital status, reaching 65 years of age, becoming 100% disabled or adding commercial or non-homesteaded use to your property.
Homestead applications only take a few minutes to file and should be filed between January and April 1st. If you fail to file homestead exemption there is nothing we can do about the amount of your assessment.
For more information on homestead exemption contact your county tax assessor’s office (Biloxi 228-435-8266, Gulfport 228-865-4043, Ocean Springs 228-875-3367, Pascagoula/Moss Point 228-769-3070) or visit your county’s website. Please make sure your assessment is sent to your mortgage servicer.