Property tax relief will be available to a greater number of seniors and permanently disabled citizens as a result of legislation passed recently in Olympia.
In the most recent session legislators raised the annual income threshold for seniors (61+) and disabled people to be eligible for exemption from excess levies and bonds such as those supporting public hospitals or school districts.
The previous combined disposable income level of $35,000 was raised to $40,000. In short, more homeowners will qualify for tax relief.
Those who qualify must be homeowners who are, on December 31 of the year before the taxes are due, at least 61 years of age or older; OR retired from regular gainful employment by reason of disability; OR a veteran of the U.S. armed forces receiving compensation from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability. The exemption can only apply to your primary residence.
The qualifying applicant receives a reduction in the amount of property taxes due. The amount of the reduction is based on the applicant's income, the value of his or her residence, and local levy/bond rates.
If you think you may qualify with the new income threshold, or have questions about this program, please call the Assessor’s Office at 360-336-9370. To enroll for the program you will need to bring income verification to the Assessor’s Office.
The change is not retroactive, but will apply to exemption reductions for 2016 property taxes and forward. If you are already enrolled in this program, there is nothing you need to do unless your income has changed. Otherwise the Assessor’s Office will adjust your exemption for 2016 based on the new income levels.