Property Tax Exemption for Low-Income Seniors and People with Disabilities
By Cindi Laws
Many of us have forgotten that just six years ago the economy is growing and property values were sky-high and rising. An earlier version of that cycle led officials in the State of Washington to recognize that many seniors’ fixed incomes limit their ability to pay property taxes on their homes. They created a program to reduce or defer property taxes – and many of our friends and associates may qualify!
A nice home that might have cost $50,000 in the 1970s and now owned “free and clear” could easily be assessed at $400,000. Considering that tax rates in Puget Sound range from around $12 per $1,000 of assessed value to more than $16 per $1,000, the annual property tax hit on that $400,000 home is at least $4,800, or $480 each month.
Seniors whose income is less than $3,000 each month may very well qualify for the property tax relief program. According to the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR), website these are the qualifications:
Taxpayers who are, on December 31 of the year before the taxes are due, at least sixty-one years of age or older; or retired from regular gainful employment by reason of disability; or a veteran of the armed forces of the United States with one hundred percent service-connected disability.
The qualifying applicant receives a reduction in the amount of property taxes due. The amount of the reduction is based on the applicant's income, the value of the residence, and the local levy rates.
Own and occupy a primary residence in the State of Washington and have combined disposable income of $35,000 or less.
Visit Concierge Care Advisors website for more information, or access the DOR program here:http://dor.wa.gov/content/findtaxesandrates/propertytax/incentiveprograms.aspx
Download the application here: http://dor.wa.gov/docs/forms/PropTx/Forms/SrCitExmptRealPropTx.doc