SIDNEY — Homeowners who will turn 65 years of age or older in calendar year 2016 or are totally and permanently disabled now have until Dec. 31, 2016, to file for the homestead exemption of real estate taxes on their 2016 bill. Shelby County Auditor Amy Berning reported that House Bill 166 was signed into law on June 9 which extended the deadline. The application deadline in previous years was the first Monday of June.
In order to qualify, new applicants cannot have a total Ohio adjusted gross household income of over $31,500. (Exception: disabled veterans) The income restriction was legislated by the State of Ohio in 2013 and went into effect in 2014. Note that social security benefits are not included in Ohio adjusted gross income.
Berning said 3,541 homeowners in Shelby County were enrolled in the homestead exemption program in 2015. Those homeowners saw a reduction in their annual real estate taxes by an average of $332.
Late applicants — meaning homeowners who qualified for the homestead exemption in previous years but did not sign up — may enroll in the program and have their 2015 real estate taxes (billed in 2016) adjusted, as long as they apply before the Dec. 31 deadline.
Past recipients of the homestead exemption will continue to qualify for it and do not need to reapply. Also note that past recipients who applied by June 2, 2014, for the exemption are not subject to the household income restriction and will continue to be exempted from it, even if they sell their home and purchase another one in Ohio.
Disabled Veterans: Those who qualify as disabled veterans are not subject to the income threshold and they are eligible for a larger exemption amount. Also new (as of March 23, 2016) is a more inclusive eligibility stipulation. For the purpose of the homestead exemption, “veterans with total service-connected disabilities”(and their surviving spouses) now includes veterans who are receiving compensation at the 100 percent level due to individual unemployability caused by service-connected disabilities. To find out if you qualify, contact the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.