2007-09-29 / News

New Homestead Exemption applications due Monday

COLUMBUS - Time is running out for senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans to take advantage of Ohio's expanded Homestead Exemption for 2007 real estate property taxes.

The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. For example, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed as if it is worth $75,000.

The exact amount of savings will vary from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowner's should save an average of about $400 per year.

Previously, eligibility for the Homestead Exemption was restricted through income tests that disqualified most senior citizens. For example, during the 2006 tax year, any senior citizen or disabled Ohioans with household income of more than $26,200 per year could not qualify for the savings. Another important change: All household who qualify for the Homestead Exemption will now receive a flat$25,000 property tax exemption on the market value of their home. Previously, benefits were tiered according to homeowners' income and usually not as valuable.

The new Homestead Exemption starts with tax bills payable in 2008. For real property, bills paid in 2008 cover the 2007 tax year. For manufactured or mobile homes, bills paid in 2008 cover the 2008 tax year.

A Ohio resident homeowner must meet one of three criteria below to qualify.

• Who is at least 65 years old during 2007; or

• Is totally and permanently disable as of January 1, 2007 as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or

• Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous Homestead Exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.

To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place or residence as of Jan. 1, 2007 for real property or Jan. 1, 2008 for manufactured home property. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote and the person's place of residence for income tax purposes.

An application form (DTE 105a-Temporary, Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disable persons, and Surviving Spouses for the Extended Filing Period in 2007), must be filed with your local county auditor. The form is available from county auditors or from the Ohio Department of Taxation's Web site at tax. ohio.gov.

Applications must be RECEIVED by your county auditor's officeno later than Monday, Oct. 1, 2007. Applications postmarked on Oct. 1, but received after that date will be denied for missing the deadline.

Taxpayers who miss the 2007 filing deadline may still claim the credit for property taxes to be paid in 2008, but must wait until 2008 to apply.

Those who miss the deadline will need to filea late application for the missed tax year at the same time they filea timely application in 2008. The first day to filethe application in 2008 is Jan. 8, 2008; the last day is June 2, 2008.

If you received the Homestead Exemption credit on the tax bill you paid in 2007, you do not need to filea new application. You will automatically receive the new Homestead Exemption for the next tax year if you otherwise qualify.

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