Senior Citizens Can Defer Up to $5K in Property Tax Payments This Year

  • Residents 65 years of age and older who are having challenges affording their property taxes can defer payments until their home is sold.Wheeling Township

    Residents 65 years of age and older who are having challenges affording their property taxes can defer payments until their home is sold.Wheeling Township

 
 
Updated 1/28/2022 9:40 AM

Senior citizens 65 years of age or older who are struggling with property taxes can defer tax payments until their homes are sold. According to Wheeling Township Assessor Ken Jochum, the Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program allows seniors to defer as much as $5,000 of their property tax bill every year.

To qualify for this program, seniors must have an annual household income of less than $55,000, have equity in their homes that exceeds the sum of property taxes deferred, and have lived in their homes for at least three years. Residents who live in two-flats and other properties that generate rental income are not eligible for the program. Properties held in a trust are also ineligible, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2022.

 

The tax deferral program is essentially a loan from the State that is charged simple interest of 6% per year. To assure repayment, a lien is placed on the senior's home that will prevent it from being sold until the loan is paid.

"Having a lien placed on a home often has a negative connotation. But a home mortgage is also a lien on the home, and mortgages aren't normally viewed in that light," Assessor Jochum said. "Liens, whether for mortgages or property taxes, are merely designed to ensure that the lent money is ultimately repaid."

There are some circumstances, however, where seniors may not want a lien on their homes. Those that are uncertain on whether to apply can speak with someone in the Assessor's office but should also consider discussing the matter with legal advisers, financial and tax advisers, as well as family members.

Assessor Jochum advises those interested in the program to apply for other tax benefits available to seniors. "If you are eligible for the deferral, you should also be eligible for the Senior Freeze and the Senior Exemption. By applying for the other senior benefits, you will reduce your property tax liability, which may reduce the deferred tax that will eventually be repaid," he said.

Seniors with additional questions about the deferral program can call the Assessor's Office at (847) 259-1515.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.