Homestead Exemption – 2017 Requirements

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We have had some questions on the State of Ohio Homestead Exemption.  After searching the Internet and visiting the Lake County Auditor’s office here is what we have found out for you.

For those that have a lot of time on their hands, and like to read legalese, here are the links to the sections of the Ohio Revised Code dealing with the Homestead Exemption.
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/323.151

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/323.152

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/323.153

For us mere mortals, here is perhaps a better explanation:

What is the homestead exemption? (source: Ohio Department of Taxation)

The homestead exemption allows low-income senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans, to reduce their property tax bills, by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, through the homestead exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 is billed as if it is worth $75,000.

The exact amount of savings varies from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners saved an average of about $435 per taxpayer during the 2011 tax year. The tax exemption is limited to the homestead, which Ohio law defines as an owner’s dwelling and up to one acre of land. The value of the exemption may not exceed the value of the homestead. The 2015 income threshold is $31,000, the 2016 threshold is $31,500, and the 2017 threshold is $31,800. (I was informed that it will go up to ~ $33,000 in 2018)

What are the 2017 requirements? (source: Lake County Auditor)

  1. You must own your own home as your principal residence on January 1, 2017.
  2. You must be at least 65 years of age, or totally and permanently disabled. (Proof of disability is required)
  3. You cannot earn more than $31,800 in 2017. Not to worry, your social security is not included in determination your total earned income.   (Note: If you are currently receiving the Homestead Exemption based on a prior application, you do not have to meet the 2017 income requirements, and will remain on the program.  If you got the credit in 2013 you do not need to refile each year.  If you are in a manufactured home and got the credit in 2014 you also do not need to file each year.)
  4. All homeowners that would have qualified after 2013 would have to file each and every year.  
  5. Here is the form you can use:                    Application for Homestead Exemption

The Lake County Auditor is Mr. Edward H. Zupancic. His contact information is as follows:

Telephone: (440) 350-2532
Email: auditor@lakecountyohio.gov
Website: http://www.lakecountyohio.gov/auditor

If you still are unsure and have some questions, here is another website link that may help.
http://www.tax.ohio.gov/real_property/faqs/homestead_exemption_faqs/tabid/3074/Default.aspx?QuestionID=304&AFMID=9554

If all else fails, I would suggest contacting the Lake County Auditor’s office. I have found them to be extremely helpful in answering any questions that I may have on Lake County financial matters.

In 2016 the Homestead Exemption was a minimum of $418.84, average of $466.98 and a maximum of $692.65.  I still think the State is going to have to declare those living on fixed incomes as a “protected class” and exempt them from a whole lot more than $450.00 in real estate taxes.

 

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