Seniors throughout nearly half the nation are eligible for this benefit, and you might be, too. Approximately 24 states and the District of Columbia offer property tax deferral programs to older adults. If you choose to participate, as a homeowner, you pay reduced or zero property taxes.
Even if your property taxes skyrocket, you’ll never be forced out of your home by a huge property tax bill. Just be aware that you must meet age, income, home ownership, and other requirements to qualify for this benefit. You should also know that interest may be charged on deferred property taxes. But don’t worry. You won’t be paying this interest every month. The combination of interest and owed taxes simply comes out of the proceeds when your home sells. In some cases, certain sources of revenue — state income tax refunds and lottery winnings for example — are automatically applied to deferred property tax.
Although each state has its own set of requirements, generally you can continue in the program until:
- the property is sold or transferred.
- all qualifying homeowners die.
- you permanently move out of the home for reasons other than health.
- you change your mind.
If you’d like to defer your property taxes, call your county tax assessor or state Department of Revenue. They can tell you whether a tax deferral program is available, how it works, and how to apply.