Time is running out for new Florida residents to save about $800 on property taxes by signing up for a homestead exemption.

People who bought or moved into a new primary residence in 2010 have until March 1 to file for special tax breaks available to full-time residents. Homeowners who are now protected do not need to reapply.

“This has a tremendous impact on the amount of taxes people will pay,” Lee County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson said.

Homeowners in Lee County can sign up online at leepa.org or at the main office, 2480 Thompson St. in Fort Myers.

Wilkinson said about half of the 11,000 homestead applications last year were done online.

Those in Collier County do not have an online option; however, the property appraiser has set up satellite locations where property owners can sign up.

Those locations are listed at collierappraiser.com.

People will need identification such as a driver’s license, proof of residence such as a voter registration card, and proof of homeownership.

Widows, widowers and veterans are eligible for additional discounts. The special exemptions allow homeowners to reduce the percentage of their property value that can be taxed.

“I don’t think government should ever be in the business of taxing people of out their primary residence,” Wilkinson said.

Story Courtesy Of The Ft. Myers News-Press