More seniors, disabled citizens qualify for property tax relief

dept of revenueSome seniors and disabled citizens will have an easier time qualifying for property tax relief starting with their 2016 tax bill, according to an announcement Friday from the Washington State Department of Revenue.

The counties administer property taxes on behalf of the state. Interested homeowners should contact the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office to apply.

Recently enacted legislation (Senate Bill 5186) lifts the income limit to qualify for a property tax exemption from $35,000 to $40,000 for property owners 61 years or older, or those retired due to a service or job-related disability.

The exemption applies to a person’s principal residence and depends upon the combined disposable income of the applicant, spouse, partner and/or co-tenants occupying the same home.

The legislation also raised the income limit from $40,000 to $45,000 for the deferral program, which delays property taxes for seniors and the disabled until a later date. Under the deferral program, the Washington State Department of Revenue pays the property taxes and any special assessments on the property owner’s behalf. The deferred amount, plus interest, becomes a lien on the home until the total amount is repaid.

To be eligible, the homeowner must be either at least 60 years old, unable to work because of a disability, or be at least 57 years old and the surviving spouse or partner of someone who was receiving a deferral at the time of death.

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