By Susan Langston, LeadingAge Florida
During the 2017 Legislative Session, HB 7109 passed which modifies the definition of “nursing home” or “home for special services” in section s.196.012 (9), Florida Statutes, to include facilities possessing a valid license under part 1 of chapter 429 (the regulatory law for assisted living facilities). This change appears to totally exempt non-profit assisted living facilities (ALFs) from ad valorem property taxes beginning in calendar year 2017. (Click here for a copy of the bill and refer to page 13.)
Several years ago, a bill passed which transferred the regulation of ALFs from chapter 400, Florida Statutes, (nursing homes and other health care entities) to chapter 429, Florida Statutes. While well intentioned, the change had repercussions for some non-profit ALFs that previously received a total ad valorem property tax exemption for their ALF under s. 196.1975 (2)(b), Florida Statutes, an exemption applicable to nonprofit "homes for the aged. " The impact on some communities was substantial depending on the number of ALF units in question. Not all ALFs received a total exemption, but some did, depending on the interpretation of their property appraiser. Those that did not receive the total exemption were granted a $25,000 per unit exemption.
If you have an ALF on your campus that is not currently receiving a total ad valorem property tax exemption, you may want to contact your property appraiser about applying for an exception under s. 196.197, Florida Statutes. This is the section of law that is tied to the amended definition for “nursing home” or “home for special services” which includes ALFs. The bill took effect on July 1, 2017 so your property appraiser should be aware of it. If he or she is not, please refer him or her to page 13 of HB 7109 (ch.2017-36). If you have any questions, please contact Mary Ellen Early at (386) 734-7681 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let Mary Ellen know if your organization will benefit from the new law based on the response from your property appraiser.
Susan Langston is the Vice President of Advocacy of LeadingAge Florida, a nonprofit statewide association representing the full continuum of care for seniors with members ranging from affordable housing and nursing homes to assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities.