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Exemptions still available to qualified homeowners

Thursday, October 09, 2008
Pioneer Press

Are you kicking yourself now because you failed to swing into action back in June when that long-term-occupant tax-break form arrived in the mail?

It's not too late to file for the new exemption or any others. Applications are available at

"If taxpayers did not receive the long-time-occupant exemption, the disabled exemption or any of the new exemptions and were eligible, they could file a certificate of error and receive an adjusted tax bill right now, time permitting," said Maura Kownacki, a spokeswoman in the Assessor's Office.

"If time does not permit for them to receive an adjusted bill, they can pay their current bill (by the Nov. 3 due date) and receive a refund based on the reduction," Kownacki said.

The long-term-occupant exemption is a two-tiered break available to homeowners who've lived in their homes for 10 or more years and whose household income is less than $75,000 or $100,000.

The measure is much like the so-called "7 percent homestead exemption" that is available to all homeowners -- except that there is no ceiling on the size of the exemption.

Both versions are intended to limit the annual increase in a home's taxable value -- not the tax bill itself -- through an expanded homeowner exemption.

Longtime homeowners with household incomes of $75,000 or less are limited to a 7 percent annual increase, while those with incomes between $75,001 and $100,000 are capped at 10 percent.

The legislature also enacted new exemptions for disabled people, returning veterans and disabled veterans.

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