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I am a senior and a homeowner. Are there any special tax breaks for me?

Ohio's Homestead Exemption exempts the first $25,000 of the value of your home from being taxed.     For example, a home that is worth $100,000 will be taxed as if it were worth $75,000.   On average people who qualify save $400 a year.

Who is eligible?   Homeowners who:

  1. Are 65 years old or will turn 65 this year, or
  2. Were permanently and totally disabled on or before the 1st day of the year in which they file, or
  3. Are the surviving spouse of a person who was already enrolled in Homestead, and the survivor was at least 59 years old when the spouse died.

What property is eligible for the exemption?

  1. The property must be the place where you live most of the time, and
  2. You must have been living there as of January 1st, and
  3. Your name must be on the deed; if the property is held in a trust, you must have a copy of the trust.

You must apply for the exemption by June 3, 2013.   (A late application can also be filed for last year.)

If you apply based on your AGE, you must have PROOF OF AGE.   For proof, you can use things like a driver's license (current or expired), State of Ohio ID card, birth certificate or passport (current or expired).

If you apply based on DISABILITY, you must have PROOF OF DISABILITY.   For proof, you can give things like the Auditor's Certificate of Disability form signed by your doctor OR a statement from Social Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation finding you to be totally and permanently disabled.

If you are found to be eligible, you do not have to re-apply in future years.

To get an application form, more information and help, call your county Auditor's Homestead Department:

  • In Cuyahoga County, call 216.443.7101
  • In Ashtabula County, call 440.576.3793
  • In Lake County, call 440.350.2536
  • In Geauga County, call 440.279.1617
  • In Lorain County, call 440.329.5207

This article was written by Legal Aid attorney Marley Eiger and appeared in The Alert: Volume 29, Issue 1. Click here to read the full issue.

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