What is Homestead Exemption

By Cindy Sholtis

December 4, 2015

What is Homestead Exemption?

Homestead exemption is a reduction in real estate taxes. There are several requirements to qualify for this exemption. The owner must reside in the residence for which they are applying for the exemption. If the owner holds title to several properties, only his primary residence will be eligible for the reduction.

For the Senior Citizen, disabled person or surviving spouse homestead exemption, the applicant must be 65 years old or older by December 31st of the calendar year for which they are asking for the homestead exemption or permanently or totally disabled as set forth below. For example, if one is trying to get a reduction for Tax Year 2016, they must be at least 65 years old by December 31, 2016.

There is an income limitation for the applicant. The income limitation was $31,000.00 for tax year 2014, payable in 2015 and $31,500.00 for tax year 2015, payable in 2016. This includes all income from the owner and their spouse. The amount that is used is called the Ohio Adjusted Gross Income which includes, wages, interest, dividends, rents and pensions, and is found on the Ohio State Tax Return. Social Security income is not included in this amount. The applicant will need to bring State Income Tax Returns from the two most recent years when applying for the reduction.

A permanently or totally disabled individual is one who cannot perform his duties on the job. This disability is expected to continue for an undetermined length of time. The applicant would need a certificate signed by a physician stating that they are permanently disabled and cannot return to work. He could have a certificate from a state or federal agency such as the Social Security Administration which can offer disability benefits to those under the age of 65 who meet the requirements. Veterans who have been declared disabled are eligible for an increased reduction. This includes anyone who has received a permanent total disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs. A letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs will be required.

For further information and explanation of the requirements, the applicant can contact the Richland County Auditor’s Office. The Richland County Auditor’s Office is located on the first floor of the Richland County Courthouse and is open Monday through Friday. The Auditor’s Office will accept applications for Homestead Exemption beginning January 2, 2016 through June 6, 2016. At least one of the owners need to apply in person and must have a valid driver’s license or a state issued identification card.

 

 

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