DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith is joining other Ohio county auditors in supporting efforts to expand property tax relief to senior and disabled homeowners.
Keith announced his support Thursday for two pieces of legislation introduced in the Ohio General Assembly that would expand the state’s homestead exemption program. The program provides property tax relief to qualifying homeowners.
“The Homestead Exemption program is one of the most popular tax reduction programs in Ohio,” Keith said. “More than 800,000 homeowners across the state and more than 40,000 in Montgomery County are taking advantage of the savings provided by this program.”
Keith continued, “The tax savings is significant, especially for those living on fixed incomes. However, the benefits offered by Ohio’s homestead exemption have not changed since 2007. With rising property assessments and new levies, the benefit provided does not keep up with inflation.”
According to Keith, both HB 439 and HB 99 would expand the relief offered by the homestead exemption program and would help ease the growing tax burden on senior citizens and the disabled.
The homestead exemption program in Ohio exempts from taxation the first $25,000 of a qualifying homeowner’s property value. Keith said the average savings for property owners enrolled in the program in Montgomery County is currently about $700 per year.
To qualify for the homestead exemption a homeowner must be at least 65 years of age or permanently and totally disabled. Additionally the Ohio adjusted gross income for a qualifying homeowner can be no more than $32,800, an amount adjusted annually based on inflation.
If it becomes law, HB 439 would require an annual adjustment to the amount of property value exempted from taxation based on inflation similar to how the income restriction is adjusted each year.
The other bill, HB 99, would expand the homestead program in two separate ways. It would increase the exemption amount from $25,000 to $50,000 of a home’s appraised value. The bill would also raise the income restriction from its current $32,800 to $60,000 in Ohio adjusted gross income, allowing more seniors to qualify.
“Expanding the homestead exemption program gives relief to those who need it most,” said Keith. “I support these bills to help ensure that the exemptions keep up with inflation, something that is sorely needed for those living on a fixed income.”