How to Get Help with Property Taxes
Depending on where you live, property taxes can become a major expense. City dwellers already must pay both city and county portions as a part of their property tax bill. Some states, like New York have exceptionally high property taxes that can put undue pressure on lower income homeowners who may live on a fixed income. There are however ways that you can get help with property taxes.
Are you Elderly or Disabled?
Local governments understand that property taxes can sneak up on elderly homeowners who may not have envisioned that their property would be assessed at such a high rate. In many cases, they bought or built their homes decades earlier, before their property became so valuable.
While you may be house rich, you may also be cash poor. Before you rush off to apply for a reverse mortgage
, you may want to see if you qualify for a property tax exclusion.
Local and state governments that regulate property tax rates also determine exclusion levels for elderly homeowners who might be exempt from paying property taxes. For example, North Carolina Property Tax Relief programs make the program available to elderly homeowners with income no greater than $27,100. You must be at least age 65 to qualify, unless you are totally and permanently disabled. The NC program provides an exemption of the first 50% of appraised value or $25,000, whichever is higher.
Are you a Disabled Veteran?
Most property tax authorities similarly provide exemptions to disabled veterans. Some states, such as South Carolina also extend these exemptions to firefighters and law enforcement officers.
Exemptions may vary depending on where you live and by how you qualify. It is important to check with your property tax authority to apply for an exemption (it is not automatic) as well as to see if the requirements or exemption levels have changed from the previous year.