Applications are now being accepted for enrollment in the Homestead Exemption Program for 2014. An income restriction of $30,500 was imposed by state lawmakers last year which will limit who is eligible for the Homestead Exemption credit in the future. There is a window of opportunity for anyone who was eligible last year to enroll in the program under the old guidelines.
New applicants who own their home and will turn 65 years old in 2014 or become permanently and totally disabled – you will now be subject to an income test to qualify for the program. If you are applying for homestead and did not qualify for the exemption for 2013, your total income cannot exceed the amount set by law, currently $30,500. “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. If you do not file an Ohio income tax return, 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 the Auditor’s office. You may be required to produce evidence of income.
Late applicants, homeowners who qualified for the Homestead Exemption last year (2013) but failed to sign up, may enroll in the program in 2014 and qualify under the old rules, meaning they will not be subject to the new income restriction.
Homeowners currently receiving the Homestead Exemption will continue to qualify under the old rules. Current recipients also do not need to re-apply, will never be subject to any income test, and will continue to receive the benefits of the program even if they sell their current residence and purchase a new home, anywhere in the state of Ohio, in the future.
The deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption for both new applicants and late applicants is Monday, June 2, 2014. Applications are available by calling the Auditor’s office at 419-636-5639 or can be downloaded from the Auditor’s website at www.co.williams.oh.us/auditor.