Catastrophic Event Information
What is a catastrophic event?
Under Section 197.319(1)(a), F.S., the term catastrophic event is defined to mean: “an event of misfortune or calamity that renders one or more residential improvements uninhabitable. The term does not include an event caused, directly or indirectly, by the property owner with the intent to damage or destroy the residential improvement.” The event may be caused by a weather event typically affecting multiple properties (for example, a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flooding) or a non-weather event typically affecting individual properties (for example, an unintentional fire, water damage, structural failure).
Who is eligible?
A homeowner may be eligible for a refund of a portion of property taxes paid (for the year in which the catastrophic event occurred) if the property was uninhabitable for at least 30 days due to a catastrophic event. To be eligible for a partial property tax refund, the property appraiser must determine the residential property was “uninhabitable.” Section 197.319(1)(g), F.S., defines the term uninhabitable as: “the loss of use and occupancy of a residential improvement for the purpose for which it was constructed resulting from damage to or destruction of, or from a condition that compromises the structural integrity of, the residential improvement which was caused by a catastrophic event.”