Homestead Exemption

What is the Homestead Exemption?
The homestead exemption provides a reduction in property taxes to qualified senior or disabled citizens, or a surviving spouse, on the dwelling that is the individual's principal place of residence and up to one acre of land of which an eligible individual is an owner. The reduction is equal to the taxes that would otherwise be charged on up to $25,000 of the market value of an eligible taxpayer's homestead.

Anyone eligible to receive the Homestead Exemption must apply for the benefit with their county auditor on or before December 31st.

What are the qualifications for the Homestead Exemption?
To receive the homestead exemption you must be:

  1. At least 65 years of age during the year you first file or be determined to have been permanently and totally disabled (see definition below), or be a surviving spouse (see definition below), and
  2. Own and have occupied your home as your principal place of residence on January 1 of the year in which you file the application. For manufactured or mobile home owners, the dates apply to the year following the year in which you file the application. A person only has one principal place of residence; your principal place of residence determines, among other things, where you are registered to vote and where you declare residency for income tax purposes. You may be required to present evidence of age. If the property is being purchased under a land contract, is owned by a life estate or by a trust, or the applicant is the mortgagor of the Property, you may be required to provide copies of any contracts, trust agreements, mortgages or other documents that identify the applicant's eligible ownership interest in the home.

If you are applying for homestead and did not qualify for the exemption of the 2013 (2014 for manufactured homes), your total income cannot exceed the amount set by law. "Total income" is defined as the adjusted gross income for Ohio income tax purposes (line 3 0 f Ohio income tax return) of the owner and the owner's spouse for the year preceding the year for which you are applying. If you do not file an Ohio income tax return, adjusted gross income includes compensation, rents, interest, fees and most other types of total income. Certain Social Security and disability benefits are not included in adjusted gross income. If you are unsure of what income is included, contact our office. You may be required to produce evidence of income.

Current Application: If you qualify for the homestead exemption for the first time this year (for real property) or for the first time next year (for manufactured homes), check the box for Current Application on the front of the form.

Late Application: If you also qualified for the homestead exemption for last year (for real property) or for this year (for manufactured homes) on the same property for which you are filing a current application, but you did not file a current application for that year, you may file a late application for the missed year by checking the late application box on the front of the form. You may only file a late application for the same property for which you are filing a current application.

*Definition of a Surviving Spouse: An eligible surviving spouse must (1) be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption by reason of age or disability. for the year in which the death occurred, and (2) must have been at least 59 years old on the date of the decedent's death.

*Definition of Permanent Disability: Permanent and totally disabled means a person who has, on the first day of January of the year for which the homestead exemption is requested, some impairment of body or mind that makes him/her unfit to work at any substantially remunerative employment which he/she is reasonably able to perform and which will, with reasonable probability, continue for an indefinite period of at least 12 months without any present indication of recovery, or who has been certified as totally and permanently disabled by an eligible state or federal agency.

When does a property owner apply for the Homestead Exemption?
Applications must be submitted to the County Auditor in the county of residence on or before December 31st.

How do I show proof of age?

The application form requires individuals to report their age of date of birth, and it is signed under penalty of perjury. Anyone who makes a false statement for purposes of obtaining a Homestead Exemption is guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Individuals who are convicted of such crime are then ineligible to receive the Homestead Exemption for the three years following conviction and pay any improperly exempted tax, plus interest.

Further questions may be directed to the Adams County Auditor at 937-544-2364 or the Ohio Department of Taxation’s web site at http://tax.ohio.gov