SWCS on board with Homestead Tax for seniors

At the Sept. 19 South-Western City Schools community forum, the board went into the Homestead Tax expansion.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed the Homestead Tax or House Bill 119 into law on June 30. The Homestead Tax, made for senior citizens 65 and up and the physically and permanently disabled, would offer those homeowners the opportunity to shield up to $25,000 of the market value of their homestead from property taxation.

Under the previous Homestead Tax, most senior citizens and disabled Ohioans were excluded because of income tests. For example, during the 2006 tax year, any senior citizen or disabled Ohioan with a household income of more than $26,200 per year could not qualify for savings.

To go back further into the tax relief program, in 1980, the number of seniors who qualified for it was 70 percent.

"In 2004, that number was reduced to 29 percent," said SWCS Treasurer Hugh Garside.

As of Sept. 13, an estimated 482, 000 senior citizens and permanently disabled Ohioans applied for the property tax relief program.

The catch is, as of press time, the deadline for filing with your county auditor will have expired.

"It had to be in by Oct. 1," said Garside. "There might be another grace period, but they won’t be able to qualify this year."

Those who missed the deadline will need to file a late application for the missed tax year at the same time they file a timely application in 2008. The first day to file in 2008 is Jan. 8.

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