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News Release

July 3, 2007 - Property Tax Savings Now Available to Ohio Senior Citizens

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior citizens and disabled Ohioans may now apply with their local county auditor to lower the size of the property tax bills on their home through the newly-expanded Homestead Exemption.

The Homestead Exemption expansion – signed into law on Saturday by Governor Ted Strickland as part of Ohio’s two-year operating budget – will allow senior citizen homeowners and permanently and totally disabled homeowners, regardless of income, to shield $25,000 of the market value of their home from property taxes. The exemption is also available for manufactured home taxes.

Previously, eligibility for the Homestead Exemption was restricted through a complex income-based formula that disqualified most senior citizens. For example, during the 2006 tax year, any senior citizen or disabled Ohioan with household income of more than $26,200 per year could not qualify for the savings.

The Homestead Exemption changes signed into law on Saturday are expected to increase the number of Ohioans who qualify from about 220,000 to 775,000. The legislation also does away with tiered benefits in favor of the flat, $25,000 exemption.

The amount of savings will vary from community to community based on local tax rates, but should average about $400 per newly qualifying homeowner.

The catch? Homeowners who weren’t previously eligible for the Homestead Exemption must apply in order to take advantage of it.

“The Homestead Exemption will deliver real tax relief for hundreds of thousands of senior citizens who never before qualified,” Tax Commissioner Richard A. Levin said. “But in order to take advantage, you must apply.”

County auditors must receive applications by Oct. 1 in order to ensure the exemption is applied to the first property tax bills payable in 2008.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has set up an informational section on its Web site, tax.ohio.gov, to educate Ohioans about the Homestead Exemption expansion. The site includes answers to frequently-asked questions, an application form and a link to contact information for all of Ohio’s county auditors.

To qualify for the new Homestead Exemption, homeowners must live in their home as their primary residence and be either:
                                

  • At least 65 years old or turn 65 in 2007 or,
  • Certified totally and permanently disabled as of Jan. 1, 2007, or
  • The surviving spouse of a qualified homeowner who was at least 59 years old on the date of their spouse’s death.

For more information, visit tax.ohio.gov or contact your local county auditor.

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CONTACT: John Kohlstrand at (614) 644-3858 or Mike McKinney at (614) 466-5461.