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  • Eligibility Requirements for the Senior Property Tax Exemption

    Qualifying Senior

    1. The qualifying senior must be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year in which he or she qualifies.
    2. The qualifying senior must be the owner of record and must have been the owner of record for at least the 10 consecutive years prior to January 1; and
      • Title to the property can be held either by the qualifying senior alone, by the qualifying senior together with his or her spouse or by the qualifying senior together with other individuals.
      • Title can be held individually, as joint tenants or as tenants in common. The qualifying senior can also hold a life estate in the property.
      • Owner of record means an individual whose name appears on a valid recorded deed to residential real property as an owner of the property.
    3. The qualifying senior must occupy the property as his or her primary residence and must have done so for at least the 10 consecutive years prior to January 1.

    Certain exceptions to the ownership and occupancy requirements have been enacted into law. See "Exceptions to Ownership and Occupancy Requirements."

     

    Surviving Spouse of a Senior Who Previously Qualified

    1. The surviving spouse must have been legally married to a senior who applied for and received the exemption, or who met the age, occupancy and ownership requirements on January 1 of the year of application; and
    2. The surviving spouse cannot have remarried; and
    3. The surviving spouse must have occupied the residential real property with the qualifying senior as his or her primary residence and must still occupy the same property; and
    4. When a spouse who had received the exemption passes away, the surviving spouse must reapply in order for the exemption to continue.

    Exceptions to Ownership and Occupancy Requirements

    The applicant may still qualify if the ownership and/or occupancy requirements stated above cannot be met due to any of the following reasons:

    1. Title to the property is held by the spouse of the qualifying senior.  
      • The qualifying senior must meet the age and occupancy requirements stated above; and
      • The spouse must occupy the property as his or her primary residence.
    2. Title to the property is held in a trust solely for estate planning purposes.
      • The name of the trust must be provided in the application.
      • The names of the maker of the trust, the trustee and the beneficiaries must also be provided in the application.
      • To qualify, the maker of the trust must be the qualifying senior or spouse.
    3. Title to the property is held in a corporate partnership or other legal entity solely for estate planning purposes.
      • The name of the corporate partnership or other legal entity must be provided in the application.
      • The names of the principals must be provided in the application.
      • To qualify, the senior or spouse must be a principal of the corporate partnership or legal entity.
    4. The qualifying senior, spouse or surviving spouse is/was confined to a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility.
      • If not for confinement of the qualifying senior, spouse or surviving spouse in a healthcare facility, the individual would occupy the residential real property as his or her primary residence. During confinement, the property:
        • i. is/was temporarily unoccupied; or
        • ii. is/was occupied by the spouse of the person confined, a financial dependent or both.
      • Details of the confinement must be provided in the application
    5. The prior home was condemned in an eminent domain proceeding by a governmental entity, or it was sold to a governmental entity upon threat of condemnation by eminent domain.
      • Verification of the condemnation or threat of condemnation must be provided with the application. The assessor may request any information to verify the circumstances of condemnation.
      • If the qualified senior owned and occupied another property in between owning the condemned property and the property for which application is being made, qualification for exemption is lost, as the 10-year owner/occupancy requirement cannot be waived.
      • Had the condemnation or threat of condemnation not occurred, the qualified senior would satisfy the ownership and occupancy requirements on the prior residence and would be applying for exemption on that property.

     

    Last Updated: 2-27-2013