<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Sunday,  May 26 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Business / Clark County Business

Clark County homeowners age 61 or older may qualify for a property tax break but many don’t know it

Residents are leaving money on the table as Clark County property taxes increase

By Alexis Weisend, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 14, 2024, 11:51am

Older homeowners and people with disabilities could be saving thousands in property taxes but Clark County Assessor’s Office staff say a state tax-exemption program is underutilized.

“For people on a limited income, that can be really significant money to keep in their pocket to pay for their day-to-day things,” said Holly Hill, program outreach coordinator with the Assessor’s Office.

Property owners ages 61 or older or those unable to work due to a disability who make $62,000 or less annually by the time they file a claim (or Dec. 31 of the filing year) qualify for reduced property taxes. Program participants’ surviving spouses (who are at least 57 years old) and some disabled veterans who are property owners also may qualify.

Recipients of the tax break must occupy their property for more than half the year and have fire and casualty insurance.

GET HELP

To see if you qualify for the property tax exemption, go to assessor-property-tax-exemption-program-clarkcountywa.hub.arcgis.com/ or attend events in person from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 17 at the Firstenburg Community Center in the Resource Classroom and May 31 at the Luepke Senior Center. To schedule an appointment for the event, call 564.397.2391 or email taxreduction@clark.wa.gov. Walk-ins also are welcome. People should bring photo ID, federal tax return, W-2 and/or 1099 and any deduction documentation.

If people who qualify paid their property taxes not knowing about the program, they can receive a refund for the last three years. There is no obligation for repayment with this program.

Property taxes, which fund services such as police and fire departments, have gone up in Clark County in recent years.

“With this property tax exemption program, it allows people who have been here, in their homes for 30 years, to kind of keep up with these fluctuating property taxes with the fluctuating housing market,” Hill said.

However, many people are leaving money on the table in Clark County.

“Significantly, every year, the need is rising, and the qualifications are opening up to accept more people,” Hill said. “There’s a huge population of people that would be able to qualify for this program and are not on it yet.”

The program targets demographics in Clark County vulnerable to homelessness.

“This is really imperative for our senior citizens and our people on limited income because the fastest growing population of homeless people are senior citizens, particularly in this area,” Hill said.

The number of people older than 55 accessing some type of homeless service in Clark County increased by 34 percent between 2019 and 2022.

Clark County staff are working on expanding outreach about the program. Residents can apply online or in person by scheduling an appointment with exemption specialists, who will be at an event from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday at Firstenburg Community Center and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 31 at Luepke Senior Center.

“We’ve really tried to make it as easy as we can (to apply), but we love to hear feedback from the public to say how can we improve it,” said Roni Battan, the program’s manager for Clark County.

Community Funded Journalism logo

This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

Loading...