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Homestead Exemption

 


Homestead Tax Reduction

House Bill 59, passed June 27, 2013, and effective September 29, 2013, has made significant changes to who will qualify for the Homestead exemption on a going-forward basis.

Persons who qualified and received the reduction for tax year 2013 (collected in 2014) will be “grandfathered” and will not be affected by the changes. However, new applicants for the 2014 tax year and thereafter will be required to have Ohio adjusted gross income below a certain threshold in order to receive a reduction.

It is hoped that this Q & A page will answer most questions that taxpayers may have on the subject at this time.

Homestead Q & A (Updated as of Jan. 15, 2014)

Q. How do I apply for the Homestead Exemption?
A. You need to file a “Homestead Exemption Application” (Form # DTE 105A) available from the County Auditor or on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website. For “Disability” applicants only, you also need to file a “Certificate of Disability” (Form # DTE 105E) available from the County Auditor or on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website. Click on the appropriate form name highlighted above.
 
Q. When can I file?
A. To receive the homestead exemption you must:
  1. Be a qualifying individual
    • Senior citizen (must be at least age 65 by December 31st of the year for which the exemption is sought)
    • Disabled person (must be permanently and totally disabled on January 1st of the year for which exemption is sought)
    • Surviving Spouse (must have been at least 59 years old on the date of the spouse’s death and must meet all other homestead requirements)
  2. Own and have occupied your home as your principal place of residence on Jan. 1st of the year in which you file the application.
  3. Your total income cannot exceed the amount set by law if you are applying for homestead and did not qualify for the exemption for 2013 (2014 for manufactured homes).
Q. What if I was eligible for the 2013 tax year but have not yet applied?
A. You have until the first Monday in June (June 6, 2016) to file a late application. Those applicants who file a timely application and meet all other homestead requirements will still be eligible for the grandfather clause. (Late applications may only be filed for the same residence as the current application.)
 
Q. What happens if I own two homes?
A. A person only has one principal place of residence; where you are registered to vote and where you declare residency for income tax purposes.
 
Q. What is the income threshold?
A. Statue calls for maximum income of $30,000 to be indexed each September. That amount was indexed to $31,500 for 2016 applicants.
 
Q. What income is used to determine my eligibility?
A. “Total income” is defined as the adjusted gross income for Ohio income tax purposes (line 3 of Ohio income tax return) of the owner and the owner’s spouse for the year preceding the year for which you are applying.
 
Q. What if I do not file an Ohio income tax return?
A. Adjusted gross income includes compensation, rents, interest, fees and most other types of total income. Certain Social Security and disability benefits are not included in adjusted gross income. If you are unsure of what income is included, contact your county auditor. You may be required to produce evidence of income.
 
Q. Will my income be verified by the auditor’s office?
A. The new application form shall contain a statement that signing the application constitutes a delegation of authority by the applicant(s) to both the Ohio tax commissioner and to the county auditor and to their designated agents, individually or in consultation with each other, to examine any tax or financial records relating to the income of the applicant as stated on the application for the purpose of determining eligibility for the exemption or a possible violation of the homestead laws.
 
Q. If I am currently receiving the Homestead reduction, am I required to provide my income?
A. Any person who received a Homestead reduction for the 2013 tax year (for manufactured homes-2014 tax year) is permanently exempt from the income means testing.
 
Q. Is my “grandfather” status portable?
A. If a person or person’s surviving spouse moves to another residence in Ohio and that person received the homestead reduction for 2013, that person or the surviving spouse is exempt from means testing for the homestead reduction at the new property. Form # DTE 105G must be filed with the auditor of the new county of residence.
 
Q. What is the “great grandfather” clause and is it portable?
A. A taxpayer who received a homestead reduction for tax year 2006 will always receive the greater of the reduction calculated for TY 2006 or the reduction under the current program. For manufactured homes, the reference year is tax year 2007. These taxpayers are exempt from means-testing and the reduction is portable.
 
Q. What types of properties are eligible for the Homestead Exemption?
A. Single family dwellings, a unit in a multi-unit dwelling, mobile/manufactured homes, condominiums, and certain other specialized ownership types occupied as the PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE of the owner as of January 1st of the year the exemption is sought.
 
Q. Who is considered a homeowner?
A. In general, these individuals are considered owners:
  • an individual named on the deed,
  • a purchaser under a land installment contract,
  • a life tenant under a life estate,
  • a mortgagor (borrower) for an outstanding mortgage,
  • a trustee of a trust with the right to live in the property,
  • a settlor, under a revocable or irrevocable inter vivos trust, holding title to a homestead occupied by the settlor as a right under the trust.
 
Q. How much will my taxes be reduced by the Homestead Exemption?
A. The benefit for eligible applicants is still a tax credit equal to the amount of tax on $25,000 of the “true value” appraisal of the home. Depending upon the taxing district in which you reside, that would normally result in a savings of $260 to $480 per year ($130 to $240 per half) in Darke County.
 
Q. Do I need to apply again if I am already receiving the Homestead Exemption on my tax bill?
A. No. Taxpayers already on the program do NOT need to file a new application. The auditor’s office will mail you a Continuing Homestead Exemption Application form (Form # DTE 105B).

If no changes have occurred, you do not have to return this form.
 
Q. How do I show proof of my age and/or residency?
A. At the discretion of the County Auditor, you may be asked for appropriate I.D. information. Providing false information on that application would be considered a perjury and subject to prosecution. Also, you would be barred from the program for three years thereafter and subject to repayment of any wrongfully claimed benefits plus interest on the benefits improperly received.
 
Q. How will I know if my application has been approved?
A. For approved applications, the exemption amount and tax reduction will be noted on the tax bill you receive in January of the year following the one in which you make application. If your application is rejected for any reason, you will receive written notification from the County Auditor on or before the first Monday in October. If you wish to appeal the auditor’s denial, you may obtain a form from the County Auditor to do so.

Darke County Auditor’s Office – 504 South Broadway – Greenville, Ohio 45331
Phone: 937-547-7313