Property Tax Relief for Senior Citizens and the Disabled
The homestead exemption dates back to 1971 and has long offered those who qualify the chance to shield part of their “homestead” — a dwelling and up to one acre — from property taxation.
The Homestead exemption offers all eligible homeowners the opportunity to shield up to $25,000 of the market value of their homestead from property taxation. That means a home valued at $100,000 will generally be taxed as if it was valued at $75,000. On average, those who qualify are saving $400 per year.
The Homestead exemption is available to all homeowners 65 and older and all totally and permanently disabled homeowners with a household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse.
Seniors and disabled Ohioans must apply to their local county auditor in order to take advantage of the homestead exemption. Applications can be submitted in any year after the first Monday in January and on or before the first Monday in June.
Homestead Exemption and Owner Occupancy Tax Reduction
Effective September 2016, the General Assembly has extended the filing deadline for the Homestead Exemption and the Owner Occupied residential property tax reduction from June 3, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Beginning in 2017, and thereafter, applications will be available on-line for new applicants all year around. This change does not affect those who may qualify but may own a manufactured home. Since the manufactured home tax is paid currently, the filing period will remain the first Monday of January through the first Monday of June of each calendar year.
Effective March 2016, the General Assembly has expanded the Homestead Reduction for Disabled Veterans to include those veterans with total service-connected disabilities AND to include veterans who are receiving compensation at the 100% level due to individual unemployability caused by service connected disabilities. Please read in the box below to know what is required.
Questions and Answers
Where do I apply?
The application must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located.
How do I show proof of age?
The application form requires individuals to report their 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. Your county auditor may require some evidence of age, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
How do I apply for the homestead exemption?
To apply, complete the application form DTE 105A, Homestead Exemption Application Form.
For estate planning purposes, I placed the title to my property in a trust. Can I still receive the homestead exemption?
You are eligible for the homestead exemption if all of the following are true:
You created the trust to be effective during your lifetime (an inter vivos trust).
You provided the assets for the trust (you are the settlor).
The trust agreement contains a provision that says you have complete possession of the property.
The homestead exemption used to be limited to revocable trusts (trusts that can be terminated any time by the settlor), but this limitation was removed effective tax year 2009 for real property and tax year 2010 for manufactured and mobile homes. Irrevocable trusts now may also qualify.
Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption. Properties owned by corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and trusts other than the trust described above are not eligible for the homestead exemption because such properties are not owned by an individual. If you have questions about what constitutes eligible home ownership for the homestead exemption, consult your county auditor.
I’ll save quite a bit of money through the homestead exemption. Will this hurt my local schools?
The state of Ohio reimburses school districts and local governments for the amount of revenue taxpayers save through the homestead exemption. Local governments and schools do not lose out.
How will I know if my application has been approved?
You will receive a notice from the county auditor by the first Monday in October indicating whether or not your application was approved. If your homestead exemption application was denied, the notice will explain why it was denied.
If you believe your application was improperly denied, you may appeal the auditor’s decision to the county Board of Revision by filing form DTE 106B, Homestead Exemption and Owner Occupancy Tax Reduction Complaint on or before the deadline for paying the first-half taxes for the year (in most counties, the due date is in January or February). Owners of manufactured or mobile homes may also appeal the denial of a homestead exemption application, but their complaint forms must be filed no later than Jan. 31 of the year immediately following the year of the denial.
What documentation do I need to provide to prove my disability?
If you are claiming a physical disability, you must complete a disability certificate, DTE 105E Certificate of Disability for the Homestead Exemption, and have it signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Ohio. If you are claiming a mental disability, you must have the certificate signed by a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in Ohio. In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, an owner's disability must be permanent and total and prevent the person from working at any substantial employment. You may also submit a current certificate from any state or federal agency that classifies you as disabledand shows the date of disability, as defined above.
What's the deadline to apply?
The applications window opens after the first Monday in January and closes on or before the first Monday in June.
I already receive the homestead exemption. Do I have to reapply to continue to receive benefits under the homestead program?
If you are already receiving the homestead exemption credit on your tax bill, you do not need to file a new application. You will automatically receive the homestead exemption for the next tax year if you otherwise qualify.
If your spouse died during the previous year, and if you received the homestead exemption credit on the tax bill you paid in the current year only because your spouse met the age or disability criteria, you do not need to file a new application for the exemption. If you were 59 at the time of your spouse’s death, you will continue to qualify.
Will I have to apply every year to receive the homestead exemption?
No. However, if your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the homestead exemption, you must notify the county auditor by the first Monday in June.
In January each year the county auditor will mail you a copy of the continuing application form DTE 105B Continuing Homestead Exemption Application. Please return this form to the auditor only if you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, an owner has died, if your disability status or income has changed.
Who qualifies for the homestead exemption?
For real property owners, the homestead exemption is available to any Ohio resident homeowner who:
Is at least 65 years old or turns 65 in the year they apply and household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse; or
Is totally and permanently disabled as of Jan. 1 of the year they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency and household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse; or
Homestead exemption can only be received on one property within the United States.
Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death and household income as determined by your Ohio adjusted gross income tax.
For owners of manufactured or mobile homes, the applicant must be 65 or turn 65 during the year following the year in which they apply and household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse.
To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of Jan. 1 of the year for which they apply, for either real property or 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.
I'm 65 but my spouse is younger than I am. Are we eligible for the homestead exemption?
If one of the principal owners of the property is 65 (or disabled) and the home is that person's principal place of residence and the household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse, the property is eligible for the homestead exemption. Ohio law anticipates many applicants may be in this situation, which is why an eligible owner's surviving spouse may continue to receive the homestead exemption if the eligible spouse dies and the spouse is at least 59 on the date of death.
The homestead exemption allows senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans with household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse to reduce their property tax bills by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation.
What is the homestead exemption?
The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $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. 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.
Who needs to complete and submit an Addendum to the Homestead Exemption Application?
There are two classifications of property owners that need to submit an Addendum to the Homestead Exemption application:
1. Anyone who is moving from one primary residence to another, whether inside or outside Trumbull County AND is currently receiving the Homestead Exemption as of the 2013 qualification guidelines. This Addendum to the Homestead Exemption Application continues to waive the income qualifier of: Effective January 1, 2014 all first-time applicants will have to meet an additional qualification of a household income that does not exceed an amount to be determined by the State of Ohio each year utilizing the Ohio adjusted gross income tax of the owner and owner's spouse.
2. Anyone who is a surviving spouse of a person receiving the exemption when the surviving spouse is at least fifty-nine (59) years of age on the date the deceased spouse died must complete the Addendum to the Homestead Exemption application.