Bill increases tax credit

More low-income senior citizens and disabled persons might be able to receive the Homestead Tax Credit for 2013 because of recent changes to the eligibility requirements, according to Minot city assessor Kevin Ternes.

The Homestead Tax Credit is available to homeowners who are 65 years of age or older, or permanently and totally disabled. Qualified applicants receive a reduction in the property taxes on their primary residence. The school districts, cities, counties and parks are reimbursed from state funding for these qualifying discounts received by eligible senior citizens.

Senate Bill 2171, approved by the 2013 Legislature, increased the maximum amount of income allowed to qualify for the property tax credit to $42,000, after certain deductions. The previous income limit was $26,000.

The other change to the program involves raising the value of assets that an applicant might have from $75,000 to $500,000, excluding the value of the residence.

The changes take effect for the 2013 property tax statements that will be sent in December.

Homeowners can apply for the credit by completing the Homestead Credit Application for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons and sending it to their local assessor or county director of tax equalization. For more information about the program or for the proper application, homeowners should contact their local assessor or county director of tax equalization.

Senior citizens who live in Minot and feel they might qualify can contact the city assessor’s office at 857-4160. Senior citizens who live outside of the city limits but in Ward County can call the Ward County tax director at 857-6430.