Tax-deferral program offered to seniors

By The Curry Coastal Pilot January 15, 2013 10:13 pm

Curry County Assessor Jim Kolen reported Tuesday that the State of Oregon has a property tax-deferral program that can help some seniors or disabled citizens with their property taxes.

In this program, the state pays the property taxes for qualified applicants. Taxes must be paid back to the state when the property changes ownership or the owner moves.

Property owners must meet the following requirements to qualify for the property tax deferral:

•Senior citizens: Must be 62 years old by April 15.

•Disabled citizens: At least one joint property owner needs to qualify as an individual with disabilities to receive or be receiving federal Social Security disability benefits due to disability or blindness.

The Oregon Legislature has recently made significant changes to the eligibility for the Senior and Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral programs. Requirements for both programs now include:

•Applicant’s net worth must be below $500,000. Applicant’s real market value of their property must be less than the RMV limitation as determined by the assessor’s office.

 The limitation is based on the median value and the number of years it has been continually owned and lived by the property owner.

•Applicants must have had lived in their home for at least five years and have homeowner’s insurance.

•Participants must re-apply every two years and are prohibited from having a reverse mortgage. Interest on deferred taxes is calculated at 6 percent.

Also, senior and disabled citizen applicants must own the property they are living in and first-time applicants must have a total household income of less than $41,500 in 2012.

Applications must be filed with Kolen’s office by April 15. For applications, information or assistance call Wendy Carpenter at the Curry County Assessor’s Office, 541-247-3256 or 1-800-242-7601.