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State: Disabled first responders to get tax relief

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Because of legislation passed by the Florida Legislature in May, and signed into law by Gov. Scott on June 15, first responders who are injured in the line of duty could be eligible for a 100 percent tax exemption of their property taxes.

According to information provided by the Madison County Tax Appraiser's Office, any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a “person who has a total and permanent disability as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty while serving as a first responder, is exempt from taxation if the first responder is a permanent resident of [Florida] on Jan. 1 of the year for which the exemption is being claimed.”

For the purposes of this exemption, a first responder is defined as “a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, a firefighter, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic; who is a full-time paid employee, part-time paid employee, or unpaid volunteer.”

“I just want to make sure anyone eligible for [this] exemption is aware that [Tuesday] Aug. 1 is the deadline for applying,” said Madison County Tax Appraiser Leigh Barfield.

Anyone wanting more information on applying for this tax exemption should contact the Madison County Tax Appraiser's Office at (850) 973-6133.

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