110 Central Plaza S., Suite 220
Canton, OH 44702
The homestead exemption dates back to 1971 and has long offered those who qualify the chance to shield part of their “homestead” — a dwelling and up to one acre — from property taxation. But for years, most senior citizens and disabled Ohioans were excluded because of income tests.
The redesigned exemption offers all eligible homeowners, regardless of income, the opportunity to shield up to $25,000 of the market value of their homestead from property taxation. That means a home valued at $100,000 will generally be taxed as if it was valued at $75,000. On average, those who qualify are saving $400 per year.
The expanded homestead exemption is available to all homeowners 65 and older and all totally and permanently disabled homeowners. Seniors and disabled Ohioans must apply to their local county auditor in order to take advantage of the homestead exemption. Applications can be submitted in any year after the first Monday in January and on or before the first Monday in June.
The homestead exemption allows senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans to reduce their property tax bills by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation.
The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, through the homestead exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 is billed as if it is worth $75,000. The exact amount of savings varies from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners saved an average of about $400 per taxpayer during the 2008 tax year.
The tax exemption is limited to the homestead, which Ohio law defines as an owner’s dwelling and up to one acre of land. The value of the exemption may not exceed the value of the homestead.
If you are already receiving the homestead exemption credit on your tax bill, you do not need to file a new application. You will automatically receive the new homestead exemption for the next tax year if you otherwise qualify.
If your spouse died during the previous year, and if you received the homestead exemption credit on the tax bill you paid in the current year only because your spouse met the age or disability criteria, you do not need to file a new application for the exemption. If you were 59 at the time of your spouse’s death, you will continue to qualify.
Starting in tax year 2009 (bills payable in 2010), a property owner will receive formal notification of the amount of their reduction only once, when a certificate of approval of the exemption is received from the county auditor following the initial application. The reduced amount will then be reflected on future property tax bills received from the county treasurer.
The expanded homestead exemption started with real property tax bills payable in 2008. For real property, bills paid in the current year cover the previous tax year; for example, bills paid in 2011 cover the 2010 tax year, and so on for subsequent years. For manufactured or mobile homes, bills paid in 2011 cover the 2011 tax year, and so on for subsequent years.
You will receive a notice from the county auditor by the first Monday in October indicating whether or not your application was approved. If your homestead exemption application was denied, the notice will explain why it was denied.
If you believe your application was improperly denied, you may appeal the auditor’s decision to the county Board of Revision by filing form DTE 106B, Homestead Exemption and 2.5% Reduction Ciomplaint on or before the deadline for paying the first-half taxes for the year (in most counties, the due date is in January or February). Owners of manufactured or mobile homes may also appeal the denial of a homestead exemption application, but their complaint forms must be filed no later than Jan. 31 of the year immediately following the year of the denial.
If one of the principal owners of the property is 65 (or disabled) and the home is that person's principal place of residence, the property is eligible for the homestead exemption. Ohio law anticipates many applicants may be in this situation, which is why an eligible owner's surviving spouse may continue to receive the homestead exemption if the eligible spouse dies and the spouse is at least 59 on the date of death.
If you are claiming a physical disability, you must complete a disability certificate, DTE 105E Certificate of Disability for the Homestead Exemption, and have it signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Ohio. If you are claiming a mental disability, you must have the certificate signed by a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in Ohio. In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, an owner's disability must be permanent and total and prevent the person from working at any substantial employment. You may also submit a current certificate from any state or federal agency that classifies you as disabledand shows the date of disability, as defined above.
The applications window opens after the first Monday in January and closes on or before the first Monday in June.
No. However, if your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the homestead exemption, you must notify the county auditor by the first Monday in June.
In January each year the county auditor will mail you a copy of the continuing application form DTE 105B Continuing Homestead Exemption Application. Please return this form to the auditor only if you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, an owner has died, or if your disability status has changed.
Starting July 2, 2007, the homestead exemption is available to all Ohio homeowners, regardless of income, who are either age 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled. These changes are the result of House Bill 119, which was signed into law by Gov. Ted Strickland on June 30, 2007.
Previously, eligibility for the homestead exemption was restricted through income tests that disqualified most senior citizens. For example, during the 2006 tax year, any senior citizen or disabled Ohioans with household income of more than $26,200 per year could not qualify for the savings.
Another important change: All households who qualify for the homestead exemption now receive a flat $25,000 property tax exemption on the market value of their homestead. Previously, benefits were tiered according to homeowners’ income and often not as valuable.
Because of these changes, the number of homeowners eligible for the homestead exemption grew from 216,810 for tax year 2006 to 776,154 for 2007. The average tax savings per household also grew, from $323 in 2006 to $400 in 2007.
The application must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located.
The state of Ohio reimburses school districts and local governments for the amount of revenue taxpayers save through the homestead exemption. Local governments and schools do not lose out.
For real property owners, the homestead exemption is available to any Ohio resident homeowner who:
Is at least 65 years old or turns 65 in the year they apply ; or
Is totally and permanently disabled as of Jan. 1 of the year they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or
Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.
For owners of manufactured or mobile homes, the applicant must be 65 or turn 65 during the year following the year in which they apply.
To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of Jan. 1 of the year for which they apply, for either real property or manufactured home property. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote and the person’s place of residence for income tax purposes.
The application form requires individuals to report their age and date of birth, and it is signed under penalty of perjury. Ohio law also provides that anyone who makes a false statement for purposes of obtaining a homestead exemption is guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of such a misdemeanor are ineligible to receive the homestead exemption for the three years following the conviction. Your county auditor may require some evidence of age, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
To apply, complete the application form DTE 105A, Homestead Exemption Application Form.
You are eligible for the homestead exemption if all of the following are true:
You created the trust to be effective during your lifetime (an inter vivos trust).
You provided the assets for the trust (you are the settlor).
The trust agreement contains a provision that says you have complete possession of the property.
The homestead exemption used to be limited to revocable trusts (trusts that can be terminated any time by the settlor), but this limitation was removed effective tax year 2009 for real property and tax year 2010 for manufactured and mobile homes. Irrevocable trusts now may also qualify.
Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption. Properties owned by corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and trusts other than the trust described above are not eligible for the homestead exemption because such properties are not owned by an individual. If you have questions about what constitutes eligible home ownership for the homestead exemption, consult your county auditor.