Do Senior Citizens Have To Pay Property Taxes?
May 11, 2022General Retirement
Do senior citizens have to pay property taxes after they reach a certain age? That's a question that many people ask as they get closer to retirement.
No one likes paying taxes, but it's a necessary evil. Their property tax bill is just another monthly expense to worry about for most people. But what happens when you get older and can no longer work? Do you still have to pay your property taxes? The answer might surprise you.
In most U.S. states, homeowners over a certain age are eligible for a property tax exemption. If you're a homeowner over the age of 65, you pay less in taxes on your home than others in the community. For seniors, this can mean significant savings each year.
Imagine yourself as a senior citizen. You're retired, on a fixed income, and living in your longtime home. Suddenly, you get a bill in the mail for hundreds of dollars in property taxes. Many seniors are faced with this unwelcome surprise every year, but there is hope, though the answer, unfortunately, is not always straightforward. Depending on your state and local laws, there may be different rules for seniors when paying property taxes.
We'll take a closer look at property tax exemptions for seniors based on our extensive research and look at how you can claim them in your state.
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What Are Senior Property Tax Exemptions?
As people age, they often find that their income decreases, either because they are no longer working or their retirement income is not as high as it once was. It can be tough to keep up with regular expenses, including property taxes.
A senior tax exemption could be a great help for seniors on a fixed income. This exemption reduces the amount of property tax seniors have to pay, which can be especially beneficial if they live in a high-tax area.
Suppose you live in New York; on average, a senior property tax exemption actually reduces the amount seniors have to pay in taxes by as much as 50%. If you're a senior, make sure you apply for this exemption—you could save yourself hundreds of dollars each year.
How Property Tax Exemptions Work
Did you know that property tax exemptions don’t affect the tax rate? In other words, if a city or county offers a property tax exemption for seniors, for example, the tax rate will remain the same. This might come as a surprise to you – after all, it seems like offering these exemptions would lower the overall amount of money coming in from property taxes. But that’s not how it works.
The assessed value of your home is one factor that determines how much you pay in property taxes. In most cases, the assessed value is based on the fair market value of your home. However, several exemptions like senior tax exemption can reduce the assessed value, and therefore, the amount you pay in property taxes.
These exemptions can also be based on age, disability, or home use. Familiarizing yourself with these exemptions can help you take advantage of those that apply to you and reduce your overall tax burden as a senior.
How To Qualify For a Senior Tax Exemption
In order to qualify for a senior tax exemption, there are specific requirements that must be met. For most states, like Florida, if you are 65 years or older, you are eligible for a senior property tax exemption. This means that your taxable value is reduced by a significant amount, making it easier for you to stay in your home as you age. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to be eligible for this exemption.
- The property must be your primary residence- you cannot own two homes and claim one as your primary residence to receive the exemption.
- The property must meet minimum age requirements. Don't forget to apply for your senior property tax exemption if you meet these qualifications! It could save you a lot of money each year.
Examples of Senior Property Tax Exemptions
In Boston, MA, all homeowners who are 65 years of age or older are exempt from paying property taxes on their homes. If you are a homeowner in Boston and are 65 years of age or older, you can apply for this exemption by applying to the Assessor's Office. In order to qualify for the exemption, your home must be your primary residence, and you must own it outright or have a mortgage that is less than 80% of the property's current market value.
Washington seniors are eligible for a property tax exemption on their principal residence. The exemption is also for seniors with a household income of less than $35,000. To claim the exemption, you must be at least 61 years old in which you apply and have owned and occupied your home as your principal residence for at least one year before applying.
Nevada and Wyoming
All senior citizens in Nevada and Wyoming are now eligible for property tax exemptions. This means that any homeowner or renter 60 years or older will no longer have to pay taxes on their home's assessed value. Senior citizens in these states should contact their local assessor's office to learn more about applying for this exemption. Additionally, many counties and cities offer discounts on property taxes for seniors, so be sure to ask about those as well.
Other Types of Property Tax Exemptions
If you are disabled, you may be eligible for a disability property tax exemption. Each state has different rules and qualifications, so it's essential to check with your state's taxing authority to see whether you qualify.
Generally, you must be entirely and permanently disabled to receive the exemption. This means that you cannot work and earn an income and rely on government benefits to meet your needs. The exemption can save you a lot of money each year, so it's worth considering if you qualify.
Most states have a homestead exemption when it comes to property taxes. This means that the property tax assessed on your primary home is usually lower than on other types of property. For many people, this can mean significant savings each year. Check with your state to see if you're eligible for this exemption and find out how much you could save. You may be surprised.
Are Real Estate Taxes The Same as Property Taxes?
When you think about it, the terms real estate tax and property tax are used interchangeably so often that it's hard to tell them apart. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
Basically, the real estate tax is a blanket term for all taxes levied on the property. It can include property taxes, special assessments, mortgage recording fees, and more. So when your home inspector tells you that there's an issue with your roof and a new real estate tax will be levied to cover the cost of repairs, that's what he means.
On the other hand, property tax is just one part of the real estate tax - in fact, it may only make up a tiny fraction of the total.
What’s a Tax Exemption Vs. Tax Deduction?
There’s a lot of confusion around the difference between tax exemptions and tax deductions. Here’s a breakdown of each: A tax exemption is an amount that you don’t have to pay taxes on. For example, the first $24,000 you earn in a year is exempt from taxes. On the other hand, a tax deduction reduces the amount of income that is taxed. So if you have a $10,000 deduction, your taxable income would be reduced by $10,000.Understanding the difference between exemptions and deductions can help you reduce your tax bill at filing time.
What is a Property Tax Deferral?
A property tax deferral is a program that allows people to delay paying their property taxes. The program is available to people who meet specific income requirements, and it allows them to pay their taxes in installments over time. Property tax deferrals can be a helpful way for low-income homeowners to manage their expenses and keep their homes.
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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