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Property tax assistance available for qualifying homeowners

By Paula Walter

Johnson County property taxes are due by February 28, 2017.  For those who struggle to pay, there are tax relief programs in place that may offer some assistance that could assist the elderly, along with disabled homeowners, disabled veteran homeowners and the widow or widower of disabled veteran homeowners.  The programs stipulate that those applying for assistance must live in their home year round.
In order to be eligible for assistance, there are eligibility requirements for each category.  For an elderly homeowner to receive assistance, they must be 65 by December 31, 2016 and provide proof of age if they do not draw social security.  They must own their own home and it is their primary residence.  The maximum income for the applicant, spouse and any other owners of the property is $29,180.  The maximum market value on the property on which the tax relief is calculated is $23,500.  They do not have to be disabled or partially disabled.  If your residence is a mobile home, you must present a copy of your title or bill of sale.
There is no age requirement for disabled homeowners to apply for assistance.  They must own their home and it must be their primary residence. Again, you must provide proof of age if the disability is not through social security.  The maximum income for the applicant, along with their spouse and any owners of the property is $29,180, and the maximum market value of the property on which the tax relief is calculated is also $23,500.  The homeowner must be considered totally and permanently disabled. Again, if your residence is a mobile home, you must present a copy of your title or bill of sale.
There is no age requirement for assistance for veteran homeowners who have a 100 percent disability that was determined by the Veterans Administration.  Again, they must use their home as their primary residence and reside there year round.  There is no maximum income to consider, and the market value on the property that their taxes are calculated on is $100,000.  They must be considered totally and permanently disabled and have been rated totally and permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration by the last day of December 2016. As stated before, if your residence is a mobile home, you must present a copy of your title or bill of sale.
A widow or widower of a disabled veteran does not have an age requirement for assistance, their home must be their residence year round, and there is no maximum income level and the max value on the home is $100,000.  They do not need to be disabled to receive assistance. Property tax relief can be given to the spouse of a disabled veteran if the veteran was eligible at their time of death for tax relief assistance, if their death was the result of a service or combat related cause or if they were killed in action. The surviving spouse will need a copy of the death certificate and a form of identification for yourself such as a driver’s license or social security card.  The surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of their death.
Annual income used to determine eligibility includes monies from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, retirement or pension plans, Veterans’ Administration benefits, workers compensations, salary, interest or dividends, along with any other income sources.
If you have any questions about the program or to determine your eligibility for assistance, contact the Johnson County Trustee’s office at 423-727-9062 for more information.