Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fraudulent Real Estate Tax Exemption Claims For Homesteaded Property Costs One North Florida County Of Up To $1M Per Year

In Escambia County, Florida, reports:

  • Escambia County is being robbed of up to $1 million annually by property owners committing homestead exemption fraud, Property Appraiser Chris Jones said [].

    Unfortunately some property owners claim exemptions to which they are not entitled,” Jones said. “These may include rental or vacation properties, second homes or other properties in which the owner does not reside.”

    There are currently about 650 cases of homestead fraud per year in Escambia County, Jones said. Homestead fraud occurs when a person who is not a resident of Escambia County files for and is granted a homestead exemption; when that person is not in good faith residing on the property which has been granted the exemption; or is claiming a resident benefit in some other location while at the same time claiming an exemption on the property on which they filed. Homestead fraud is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of $5,000, or both.

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