Property-tax credit now offered to 500,000 more

Property-tax credit now offered to 500,000 more

Starting on 2 July, all homeowners 65 or older or permanently disabled will be able to apply for an expanded property-tax cut included in the new state budget.

Applications for the expanded Homestead Exemption program must reach a county auditor’s office by Oct. 1 to get a credit on 2008 tax bills, officials said last week.

Previously, only those seniors or disabled homeowners whose annual household income didn’t exceed certain limits — $26,200 in 2006 — qualified for the credit.

But under a plan sought by Gov. Ted Strickland, the program now will allow all eligible Ohioans to exempt a flat $25,000 of the market value of their homes.

That means an estimated 750,000 Ohioans – one in four homeowners in the state – will qualify, compared with about 220,000 last year.

The exact savings will vary, but state officials say the average will be about $400 a year. Those living in the Columbus school district, for example, would save $382 a year.

Applications are available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at www.tax.ohio.gov or at any county auditor’s office. Those who already are receiving the existing exemption do not have to apply.

Columbus Dispatch

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