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New tax exemptions offered to Florida residents who are widowed or have disability

Legislators attend the first day of the 2021 Legislative Session at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

The Florida Legislature passed a bill on March 15 to increase tax exemptions for widowed or disabled residents. The tax breaks to qualifying residents are expected to increase from $500 to $5,000.

In 2022, the county received 203 applications from widowed residents and 43 applications from residents with disability, according to Director of Public Service and Exemptions Lally Gomez Roberts. She added that qualifying residents from prior years would be grandfathered in, with changes expected to take effect next year.

"If they already have this exemption, they don't have to reapply for it. We will make the transition between the $500 and the proposed $5,000 change for the upcoming year," Roberts said. 

Property Appraiser Ayesha Solomon says she became aware of this bill while working in the office for 20 years. As a member of the Florida Association of Property Appraisers, Inc., she advocated for the legislation. 

She said it is more worthwhile for residents to apply when they may receive a $100 tax exemption rather than a $10 one.

She's added that she's grateful to the legislators who sponsored the bill and the positive impact it will have on Florida residents.

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Elliot is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing