My homestead issue is complex, so I will do my best to break down the issues.
I bought my home in Key West FL in 1996 and lived there as permanent resident with homestead.
In 2004 I refinanced with a partner and at that time only claimed half homestead since my partner lived out of state...both on the new deed.
In 2005-6 Hurricane Wilma flooded the house and it was unlivable for several months, but I had a contractor who I worked out an arrangement with who rented it while fixing it. This rental did continue for years and I returned to live there in 2008.
I continued living there until now 2012 but did rent out a portion of the house with roommates. Also, my partner and I went our separate ways, and I quit claimed the deed back to myself in 2008 with the full homestead again.
This past week Monroe County Tax collector served me with papers and back taxes from 2007 through 2011. It was a large sum of money, but I was able to pay it mostly because I did not want to dispute it as I had rented it for those few years.
I have asked if I still have Homestead now and was told no and that I have to re-instate. And also, I was trying to get them to break down their calculations for the different years based on the changes of the deed. They were unclear about that as far as I can understand.
There is a significant difference in what I owed for the years that it was a full rental and the years that I returned, and although property values have dropped, it seems they were calculation differently because I was living there again.
Lastly, since I have paid the tax penalty (because I did not want them to have the lien against my house) is it too late to dispute any of this. This has all occurred in the last week with the deadline to pay them June 30, 2012.
Thank you for you help!