6. EXEMPTIONS: Think of exemptions like income tax deductions – they reduce the taxable value of your property.
The most common one by far is the homestead exemption, which is taken in this sample bill. You get to knock $6,000 off of your taxable value if you’ve lived in the home since Jan. 1.
Next most common is the elderly homestead exemption, which knocks off another $5,000 for anyone 65 and older living on the property – yes, senior citizens can claim both exemptions. Senior citizens older than 65 and with less than $55,000 in annual household income can apply to freeze any increase due to inflation – that one is denoted on the bill under “Sr. Freeze Abated Amt.” This does not freeze increases in the tax rates set by taxing bodies, however.
If you look higher up the column, you’ll see an exemption for home improvement. If you improve the home you live in – say, you put in a new garage, a new deck, or anything more substantial than general home maintenance – you are eligible for an exemption of up to $25,000. If you’re a disabled veteran with a service-related disability, and the federal government has approved payment to modify your home to accommodate it, you are eligible for up to a $100,000 deduction.
The remaining, less common exemptions are aimed at helping people with disabilities and disabled veterans.
Disabled people can get another $2,000 homestead exemption, and veterans with service-related disabilities can get a homestead exemption of either $2,500 or $5,000, depending on disability level. Veterans who are more than 70 percent disabled due to service-related injury are exempt from paying property taxes.
If you have just returned from active duty in armed conflict, you can get a two-year, $5,000 exemption for returning veterans.
Your exemptions are added up, subtracted from your taxable value, and the resulting number is the “Net Taxable Amount” near the bottom of your column.