Eligibility Requirements for the Senior Citizen / Disabled Persons Exemption Program

(1) Age or Disability

To meet the age or disability requirement you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least 61 years old on December 31st of the year in which you apply.
  • A surviving spouse or domestic partner who is 57 years or older in the year of death.
  • Unable to work because of a physical disability. A Proof of Disability Statement must be completed by your physician. This form can be obtained from the Assessor´s Office.
  • A veteran entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability.

(2) Ownership

To meet the ownership qualification, you must have had an ownership interest in the property as of December 31 of the assessment year for tax relief in the following year. In other words, to receive an exemption in 2017, you must own your home by December 31, 2016.

A home owned jointly by a married couple, a registered domestic partnership, or by co-tenants is considered owned by each spouse, domestic partner, or co-tenant. Only 1 person must meet the age or disability requirement. If you share ownership in a cooperative housing unit and your share represents the specific unit or portion where you live, you will be eligible for the exemption of your unit.

You must own the home for which the exemption is claimed, either in total (fee owner), as a contract purchaser, mortgagor, deed of trust, or as a life estate (including a lease for life). If you transfer the home under a revocable trust agreement, you must retain full use of the property and be able to revoke the trust and take ownership at any time. Irrevocable trusts qualify if they can be deemed a life estate.

(3) Residency

To meet the residency requirement, the property must be your primary residence by December 31 of the assessment year for tax relief in the following year. In other words, to receive an exemption in 2017, you must be living in your home by December 31, 2016. To keep your exemption going forward, you must live in your home for more than six months each year.

Your residence may still qualify if you are temporarily in a hospital or nursing home. Your residence may be rented during your hospital or nursing home stay only if the income is used to defray the hospital or nursing home costs.

Property used as a vacation home is not eligible for this program. If you own other homes in the United States, only one home is eligible for the exemption.

(4) Household Income

For income years 2015 - 2016, your annual household disposable income may not exceed $40,000. Household income includes the combined disposable income of you, your spouse or domestic partner, and any co-tenants. A co-tenant is a person who lives in your home and has an ownership interest in your home.

If your income does not exceed $40,000 and you meet all other requirements, the amount of property tax reduction is based a sliding scale and your assessed value is “frozen”.

Below is a summary of the tax reduction levels for Tax Year 2017 (based on 2016 income) and Tax Year 2016 (based on 2015 income).

Tier Level
Income Limits
Benefits
Tier 1 $0 - 
$30,000
(1) Exempt from 100% of excess levies
(2) Exempt from regular property taxes on $60,000 or 60% of the valuation of your residence, whichever is greater  
Tier 2 $30,001 - $35,000 (1) Exempt from 100% of excess levies
(2) Exempt from regular property taxes on $50,000 or 35% of the valuation of your residence, whichever is greater not to exceed $70,000
Tier 3 $35,001 - $40,000 (1) Exempt from 100% of excess levies