A homestead is:
- A person's primary place of residence and not a secondary home such as a vacation home
- A residence a person either pays the property tax for or a residence a person is buying under a contract that states he or she will pay the property taxes for
- A dwelling and the land (not exceeding one acre) that surrounds it
- A person who resides in the property must also have their name on the deed or title
A person regardless of age who either owns or is buying a homestead is entitled to a credit against his or her property taxes. The amount of the credit is determined by multiplying the homestead percentage of credit (1998 through 2001 10%, 2002 and thereafter 4%) by the amount a person owes in property taxes on the homestead portion of their property tax bill. In addition, a person who qualifies for a homestead credit also receives a standard deduction of one-half of the assessed value of the real property or mobile home. The deduction is subtracted from the homestead assessed value before the taxes are calculated.