March 18, 2010

Deadline for tax relief applications near

April 15 is the deadline for applications for three programs available to property owners to reduce their property taxes this year.

Boundary County Assessor Dave Ryals encourages everyone eligible for the homeowner's exemption and the circuit breaker program to submit their applications as soon as possible.

The homeowner's exemption reduces the taxable value of your owner-occupied residence and up to one acre of land on which the home sits by 50-percent, to a maximum of $101,153. If you've qualified for this exemption in the past and still own and occupy the same residence, you do not need to re-apply. Applications for new homeowners cannot be accepted after April 15 unless the home is newly constructed and first occupied after that date, and the exemption will not go into effect until next year's tax cycle.

The Circuit Breaker exemption is a state-funded property tax relief program that pays a portion or all property tax for qualifying applicants. Unlike the homeowners exemption, those seeking relief under the Circuit Breaker exemption must make application each year. The exemption is available to property owners aged 65 or older, or who are widowed, disabled or under the age of 18 and fatherless, motherless or abandoned. The amount the state pays toward an eligible applicant's property tax depends on net income, which is currently set at a maximu of $28,000. The Circuit Breaker exemption does not pay applied fees, such as those for solid waste or translator fees.

In addition to the above programs, a new state program is now in place that may allow qualified property owners to defer payment on a portion of their property tax obligation, and again, the deadline for applying is April 15. The tax deferment program is also income based, but there are a few requirements needed to qualify.

Because the application process to qualify for these programs can be complicated, Ryals encourages all property owners who may be eligible to apply as soon as possible. To find out more, visit the Assessor's office, Room 26 in the Boundary County Courthouse, or call (208) 267-3301.