St. Johns County Homeowners Discover They Are Eligible for Thousands of Dollars in Property Tax Exemptions

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1,900 homeowners received notice in March of potential unclaimed benefits in first-of-its-kind, data-science-driven campaign from St. Johns County Property Appraiser and TrueRoll

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“The response from the taxpayers was immediate,” said St. Johns County Property Appraiser, Eddie Creamer. “Within just two weeks following the mailing, our office granted exemptions to over 100 homeowners.”

Nearly 100 of St. Johns County homeowners have learned they are eligible for significant property tax exemptions that have previously gone unclaimed, following a proactive campaign undertaken by the office of St. Johns County Property Appraiser Eddie Creamer, in partnership with TrueRoll.io.

The new initiative, launched in March, sought to tackle a key component of equitable tax payment in St. Johns County: ensuring that local homeowners — including low income, senior and military communities — are not overpaying their property taxes.

“Florida has generous homeowner exemption statutes, but these statutes can be complicated to wade through. Many homeowners may not have the resources or access to know that they qualify, and I have a responsibility to those individuals,” said Creamer. “Through our partnership with TrueRoll, we’re proud to be the first county in the U.S. to use data science practices to proactively identify and notify homeowners who may be eligible for tax savings.”

Exemptions can help reduce the taxable value of an individual’s home. For example, if a home has a taxable value of $150,000 and the owner receives a $50,000 exemption, the homeowner is taxed as if the home is valued at $100,000. Common exemptions include: Homestead, Low-Income Senior, Low-Income Senior Long Term, Disabled Veteran, and Deployed Military.

After partnering with TrueRoll to search through data records, the Property Appraiser’s Office identified more than 1,900 homeowners who could be eligible for property tax exemptions. A customized postcard was mailed to each homeowner in mid-March, detailing the specific exemptions they may qualify for and how to apply. “The response from the taxpayers was immediate,” said Creamer. “Within just two weeks following the mailing, our office granted exemptions to over 100 homeowners.”

The St. Johns County Property Appraiser first partnered with TrueRoll in 2019 to find a sustainable way to identify properties that were improperly claiming exemptions and to identify taxpayers who may qualify but were not receiving the exemption. St. Johns County has 148,000 residential parcels and 70,000 homestead exempt parcels; using TrueRoll, a data-driven solution to maintain accurate tax rolls, Creamer’s office identified more than 900 properties with unqualified exemptions and collected nearly $1 million in back taxes and penalties.

“TrueRoll is dedicated to a fair and equitable process, so we’re thrilled that this progressive initiative with the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s Office not only uncovered unqualified exemptions and helped recover lost tax revenue, but has likewise been successful in finding individuals who could greatly benefit from an exemption they qualify for but have not yet claimed,” said Tyler Masterson, CEO of TrueRoll.

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About TrueRoll:
TrueRoll empowers governments to proactively maintain accurate property tax rolls by identifying both unqualified and unclaimed homestead exemptions using thousands of focused data sources, data science, and workflow automation. It’s the only homestead analysis solution built specifically to make appraisers’ and auditors’ jobs easier and outcomes more accurate and equitable. Learn more at TrueRoll.io.

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TrueRoll
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