WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION?
As of July 30, 2013 to qualify for the Homestead Exemption the applicant must:
- be at least 65 years old during the current year with a total qualifying household income of not more than $31,800; or
- be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1, of the current year as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or
- be 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 the principal place of residence as of Jan. 1, of the tax year for real property or Jan. 1, of the calendar year 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.
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM PERMANENTLY AND TOTALLY DISABLED?
Section 323.15.1 (D) of the Revised Code provides that "permanently and totally disabled" means a person who has some impairment in body or mind that makes him unfit to work at any substantially remunerative employment which he is reasonable able to perform and which will, with reasonable probability, continue for an indefinite period of at least 12 months. A certificate of disability form must be filled out and signed by a licensed physician and submitted with the application for the Homestead Exemption.
HOW TO SHOW PROOF OF AGE?
The application form requires individuals to report age and date of birth, and it is signed under penalty of perjury. Ohio law also provides that anyone who makes a false statement for purposes of obtaining a Homestead Exemption is guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of such a misdemeanor are ineligible to receive the Homestead Exemption for the three years following the conviction and must pay any improperly exempted tax, plus interest. The county auditor requires some evidence of age, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate or Medicare Card.
WHAT IS THE FILING PERIOD TO APPLY?
The Homestead Exemption application must be filed after the first Monday in January and on or before the first Monday in June. "Filed" means received by the Auditor's Office, not postmarked by the due date.
DOES THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION HAVE AN EFFECT ON OTHER REAL ESTATE TAX REDUCTIONS THAT ARE PRESENTLY BEING RECEIVED?
The Homestead Exemption is an additional reduction in real estate taxes beyond the other property tax deductions and rollbacks. All other property tax reductions and rollbacks will continue that are presently being received.
FOR ESTATE PLANNING PURPOSES, WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TITLE TO THE PROPERTY IS PLACED IN A TRUST? CAN THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION CONTINUE?
The parcel is eligible for the Homestead Exemption if either of the following are true:
- The applicant is the settlor, under a revocable or irrevocable inter vivos trust, holding title to a homestead occupied by the settlor as a right under the trust.
- The applicant is a trustee of the trust with the right to live in the property.
Please contact the Auditor's Office for which pages will be required from the Trust Agreement.
Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption.
IS IT NECESSARY TO APPLY EVERY YEAR TO RECEIVE THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION?
In January the county auditor will mail a copy of the continuing application form (DTE 105B, Continuing Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses). Please return this form to the auditor ONLY if there have been changes to the eligibility status.
Hancock County Auditor