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Homestead Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Homestead Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption allows senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans to reduce their property tax burden by shielding some of the market value of their home from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. For example, through the Homestead Exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed as if it is worth $75,000. The exact amount of savings will vary from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners should save an average of about $400 per year.  
 

Who qualifies for Homestead Exemption?

STARTING IN 2014 YEAR: INDIVIDUALS WHO TURN 65 IN 2014 OR WHO BECOME DISABLED AFTER JANUARY 1, 2013, WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE OHIO QUALIFYING INCOME ($31,000 OR LESS FOR 2015 YEAR) IN ORDER TO RECEIVE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION BASED UPON AGE OR DISABILITY.

Any Ohio resident homeowner who: Is 65 or turning 65 years old the year they file for Homestead. Is totally and permanently disabled as of January 1, in the year of application as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous Homestead Exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death. To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of Jan. 1st , for real property or Jan. 1st of the current year for manufactured home property. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote and the person’s place of residence for income tax purposes.  
 

How do I apply for the Homestead Exemption?

To apply, complete the application form (DTE 105A) - Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses. Then file it with your local county auditor. The form is available from county auditors and from the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov. 
  

What’s the deadline to apply?

Applications for the Homestead Exemption opens the first Monday in January, and must be received by your county auditor’s office no later than the first Monday in June. Note: Applications postmarked on or after the first Monday in June will be denied for missing the deadline.
   

I already receive the Homestead Exemption. Do I have to reapply to receive benefits under the new program?

No, but we do recommend that surviving spouses file a new application in order to ensure they are considered for the Homestead Exemption Program.
   

Where do I apply?

The application must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located.
   

May I file electronically?

Not at this time. A paper copy of the application bearing your original signature must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which your home is located.
   

How will I know if my application has been approved?

If the county approves your application, the county Fiscal Officer will notify you by mail. If the county auditor denies your application, you will receive a notice on or before Nov. 1st. informing you of and explaining the reason for the denial. If you believe your application was improperly denied, you may appeal the auditor’s decision to the county Board of Revision by filing form DTE 106-B, Homestead Exemption and 2.5% Reduction Complaint, on or before the deadline for paying the first-half taxes (in most counties, the due date is in January or February). Owners of manufactured or mobile homes may also appeal the denial of a Homestead Exemption application, but their compliant forms must be filed no later than January 31st of the current year. The complaint form is available from the county auditor or at the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov.
   

What documentation do I need to provide to prove my disability?

If you are claiming a physical disability, you must have the Certificate of Disability for the Homestead Exemption (FORM 105E) signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Ohio. If you are claiming a mental disability, you must have the certificate signed by a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in Ohio. You may also submit a certificate from any state or federal agency that classifies you as permanently and totally disabled. The certificate is a separate application form, DTE 105-A Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses. The form is available from your county auditor or at the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov.
   

For estate planning purposes, I placed the title to my property in a trust. Can I still receive the Homestead Exemption?

You are eligible for the homestead exemption if all of the following are true:

  • You created the trust to be effective during your lifetime (an inter vivos trust).
  • You provided the assets for the trust (you are the settlor).
  • The trust agreement contains a provision that says you have complete possession of the property.

The homestead exemption used to be limited to revocable trusts (trusts that can be terminated any time by the settlor), but this limitation was removed effective tax year 2009 for real property and tax year 2010 for manufactured and mobile homes. Irrevocable trusts now may also qualify.

Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption. Properties owned by corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and trusts other than the trust described above are not eligible for the homestead exemption because such properties are not owned by an individual. If you have questions about what constitutes eligible home ownership for the homestead exemption, consult your county auditor.
   

Will I have to apply every year to receive the Homestead Exemption?

No. However, if your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the Homestead Exemption, you must notify the county fiscal officer by the first Monday in June. In January the county auditor will mail you a copy of the continuing application form (DTE 105B, Continuing Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses). Please return this form to the auditor only if you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, or if your disability status has changed.  
 

What if I received a larger tax credit under the old version of the Homestead Exemption? Will I lose out?

Taxpayers will automatically receive whichever credit is larger, and the amount of the credit received in the future cannot be decreased below the amount of savings credited on tax bills paid during 2007.
   

I’ll save quite a bit of money through the Homestead Exemption. Will this hurt my local schools?

The State of Ohio reimburses school districts and local governments for the amount of revenue taxpayers save through the Homestead Exemption. Local governments and schools do not lose out.