S ome Washington County residents will be getting a break on their property taxes.
The Washington County Board of Supervisors voted last Friday to amend tax exemptions for veteran’s, senior citizens and people with disabilities and passed a law that would provide an exemption to Gold Star Parents.
All three amendments increase the exemption amount while parents of service men and women killed in the line of duty will receive the alternative veteran’s exemption.
Supervisors sought to increase the exemption amounts to reflect the current economic conditions and in response to other municipalities which have made similar adjustments.
In the case of the senior citizen’s (defined as any person 65 years or age or older) and person with disabilities, the exemption is on a sliding scale, meaning the less money a person makes, the greater the exemption they receive.
For instance, any senior citizen and person with disability, who earns an annual income of $24,000 will receive a tax exemption of 50 percent on the assessed value of their home. That means if a person’s house is worth $100,000, it will be assessed for $50,000 and taxed accordingly. The more a person earn, the less their exemption. Any person making at least $33,000 will not receive an exemption.
The alternative veteran’s exemption is not based on income and is instead based a set rate. All veterans will receive a 15 percent exemption on the assessed value of their home. That means a home assessed for $100,000 would be assessed, for tax purposes, at $85,000. The exemption, however, is capped at $33,000.
Additional exemptions are available depending on the veterans’ service. If the a veteran saw combat and received a service medal, they can receive an additional 10 percent exemption. That exemption is capped at $22,000.
If the veteran has a disability as a result of their service (as documented by the Veterans Administration), they can received an exemption of 50 percent, so long as the exemption does not exceed $110,000.
Gold Star Parents will receive the standard alternative veteran’s exemption of 15 percent. There are only believed to be three Gold Star Parents in Washington County.
While the exemptions will provide a tax break to certain citizens, it does decrease the county’s total tax levy. Property owners who do not receive an exemption will have to make up the difference.
A public hearing was held on each of the changes but no one spoke for or against the exemptions. The exemptions were approved by every board member with the exception of Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff, who was in attendance at Friday’s meeting.