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Last chance for homeowners to qualify for homestead tax break PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 10:56
County auditors are now accepting applications for enrollment in the Homestead Exemption Program for 2014, and according to Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen this may be the last chance for some homeowners to qualify for this property tax break.
"During 2013 Ohio's homestead Exemption was returned to being restricted by income for new filers," Sibbersen said. "However there is a window of opportunity for anyone who was eligible last year to enroll in the program under the old guidelines."
All past recipients will continue to qualify for the Homestead Exemption under the old rules. Current recipients do not need to re-apply, will never be subject to any income test, and will continue to receive the benefits of the program even if they sell their current residence and purchase a new home in the future.  
"The new rules that go into effect this year mean major changes, and how those changes impact eligible homeowners will depend on their status," Sibbersen said. "If you have questions regarding your status or need additional information, we encourage you to contact our office at 419-354-9173."
More than 9,200 homeowners in Wood County were enrolled in the Homestead Exemption Program last year. Those homeowners saw a reduction in their annual real estate taxes by an average of more than $400 by being in the program according to the Auditor's office.
"This is a welcome tax break for eligible senior and disabled homeowners, but provisions in last year's legislation will affect who is eligible to receive these benefits in the future," Sibbersen said.
New rules governing the program are in effect for this year and will impact eligible homeowners in one of three ways depending on their status - whether the homeowner is a new applicant, a late applicant, or a past recipient.
If you are a new applicant - meaning that you own your home and will turn 65 years old in 2014 or become permanently and totally disabled - you will now be subject to an income test to qualify for the program. The new rules require applicants to have a total household income of $30,500 or less to be eligible.
The auditor indicated that late applicants, homeowners who qualified for the Homestead Exemption last year but failed to sign up, may still enroll in the program in 2014 and qualify under the old rules, meaning they will not be subject to the new income restriction. If you qualified for the program by being age 65 in 2013 but failed to enroll for whatever reason, you can file by June 2, 2014 as a "late applicant" and not be subject to the income qualification.
The deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption for both new applicants and late applicants is June 2.
Applications are available by calling the Wood County Auditor's Office at 419-354-9173, can be downloaded from the auditor's website at www.co.wood.oh.us/auditor or may be obtained at local senior centers throughout the county.

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