Depending on where you live, property taxes can become a major expense. City dwellers already must pay both city and county portions as a part of their property tax bill. Some states, like New York have exceptionally high property taxes that can put undue pressure on lower income homeowners who may live on a fixed income. There are however ways that you can get help with property taxes.
Are you Elderly or Disabled?
Local governments understand that property taxes can sneak up on elderly homeowners who may not have envisioned that their property would be assessed at such a high rate. In many cases, they bought or built their homes decades earlier, before their property became so valuable.
While you may be house rich, you may also be cash poor. Before you rush off to apply for a reverse mortgage, you may want to see if you qualify for a property tax exclusion.
Local and state governments that regulate property tax rates also determine exclusion levels for elderly homeowners who might be exempt from paying property taxes. For example, North Carolina Property Tax Relief programs make the program available to elderly homeowners with income no greater than $27,100. You must be at least age 65 to qualify, unless you are totally and permanently disabled. The NC program provides an exemption of the first 50% of appraised value or $25,000, whichever is higher.
Are you a Disabled Veteran?
Most property tax authorities similarly provide exemptions to disabled veterans. Some states, such as South Carolina also extend these exemptions to firefighters and law enforcement officers.
Exemptions may vary depending on where you live and by how you qualify. It is important to check with your property tax authority to apply for an exemption (it is not automatic) as well as to see if the requirements or exemption levels have changed from the previous year.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."