Deadline nears to apply for property tax break for seniors

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith holds a foam desktop toy with the phone number citizens can call to learn more about the homestead exemption program. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith holds a foam desktop toy with the phone number citizens can call to learn more about the homestead exemption program. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Average savings is more than $600 for Montgomery County residents who qualify.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith is alerting homeowners who may be eligible for the homestead exemption program that the deadline is Dec. 31 to apply for this year’s exemption.

The homestead exemption provides homeowners 65 and older, or those who have a permanent and total disability, a credit on their annual real estate taxes. Disabled veterans may be eligible for additional benefits.

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For those who enroll and qualify, the exemption protects the first $25,000 of a property’s value from taxation.

In Montgomery County, there are more than 38,600 homeowners receiving the homestead exemption, with the average savings from the program nearly $640 last year, according to a release from the auditor’s office.

“Applying for a lower tax bill is a great way to celebrate the holidays,” Keith stated. “We want to encourage homeowners to apply for this valuable tax break if they believe they might be eligible.”

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Only homeowners whose modified adjusted gross household income is $34,200 or less are eligible for the tax break. Certain types of income, including Social Security benefits, do not count towards the income requirement. Also, homeowners are required to have owned and occupied their residence on Jan. 1 to be eligible for this year’s tax credit and must be at least 65 by Dec. 31.

Apply online at www.mcauditor.org/homestead, or print a form from the website and mail it to the auditor’s office. Homeowners who already receive the benefit do not need to reapply.

Those who are not sure whether they qualify or who have questions can call the auditor’s homestead hotline at 937-225-4341.

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