Who is eligible for the homestead exemption?
As of July 2, 2007 to qualify for the Homestead Exemption you must:
- Be at least 65 years old during 2007; or
- Be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1, 2007 as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or
- Be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous Homestead Exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.
To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of Jan. 1, 2007 for real property or Jan. 1, 2008 for 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.
What is meant by the term "permanently and totally disabled"?
Section 323.15.1 (D) of the Revised Code provides that "permanently and totally disabled" means a person who has some impairment in body or mind that makes him unfit to work at any substantially remunerative employment which he is reasonable able to perform and which will, with reasonable probability, continue for an indefinite period of at least 12 months. A certificate of disability form must be filled out and signed by a licensed physician and submitted with the application for the Homestead Exemption.
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 and must pay any improperly exempted tax, plus interest. Your county auditor requires some evidence of age, such as a driver's license, birth certificate or Medicare Card.
When does the new Homestead Exemption start?
The new Homestead Exemption starts with tax bills payable in 2008. For real property, bills paid in 2008 cover the 2007 tax year. For manufactured or mobile homes, bills paid in 2008 cover the 2008 tax year.
What is the deadline to apply?
Applications for the new Homestead Exemption must be submitted on or after July 1, 2007 and received by your county auditor's office no later than Oct. 1, 2007.
Does the homestead exemption have an effect on other real estate tax reductions that I am presently receiving?
The Homestead Exemption is an additional reduction in real estate taxes beyond the other property tax deductions and rollbacks. You will continue to receive all other property tax reductions and rollbacks that you are presently eligible to receive.
I already receive the homestead exemption. Do I have to reapply to receive benefits under the new program?
If you received the Homestead Exemption credit on the tax bill you paid in 2007, you do not need to file a new application. You will automatically receive the new Homestead Exemption for the next tax year if you otherwise qualify. If your spouse died during 2006, and if you received the Homestead Exemption credit on the tax bill you paid in 2007 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. We do recommend that surviving spouses whose husband or wife died before 2006 file a new application in order to ensure they are considered for the Homestead Exemption on bills payable in 2008.
I turned 65 in 2007 and have applied for the first time for the existing (previous) homestead exemption for 2007. Do I need to file a new application to receive the expanded homestead exemption?
Taxpayers who filed an application before the June 4, 2007 deadline need not file another application after July 1, 2007 for the expanded Homestead Exemption. The original application contains the information the auditor will need to determine whether taxpayers are eligible for the expanded Homestead Exemption.
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).
- You can terminate the trust at any time (it is a revocable trust).
- The trust agreement contains a provision that says you have complete possession of the property.
Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption.
What if I received a larger tax credit under the old version of the homestead exemption? Will I lose out?
Taxpayers will automatically receive whichever credit is larger, and the amount of the credit received in the future cannot be decreased below the amount of savings credited on tax bills paid during 2007.
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 the county auditor will mail you a copy of the continuing application form (DTE 105B, Continuing Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses). 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, or if your disability status has changed.
Where do I find the form to apply?
Please go to Forms / Publications
to either download the Homestead Exemption Application or the Homestead Certificate of Disability form (under Real estate).