Learn How To Apply for Property Tax Help for Low-Income Homeowners
Property taxes are based on the property value and not on the homeowner’s income, which isn’t always fair. Low-income families experience financial hardship and often struggle to cover property taxes.
Many states are aware of this issue, and that’s why they offer various property tax exemptions. If you’d like to find out whether the state you live in offers property tax help for low-income homeowners, DoNotPay is here to help.
Property Taxes—From A to Z
Americans have to pay property taxes on every property they own. Local governments use the tax money to fix and improve crucial services in the jurisdiction, including schools, hospitals, law enforcement, etc. The property tax rate varies from one county to another. Many homebuyers tend to compare tax rates before they purchase a house.
Here’s a short overview of the states with the highest and lowest property tax rates:
|States With the Highest Average Property Tax Rate||Property Tax Rate||States With the Lowest Average Property Tax Rate||Property Tax Rate|
|Wisconsin||1.76%||District of Columbia||0.46%|
A property tax assessment is necessary to calculate your annual property taxes. Your county’s assessor will determine the home’s market and assessed value and multiply it by the state’s tax rate to establish your tax bill.
What Options Do I Have To Lower My Property Taxes?
Not everyone knows that they have the right to lower their property taxes. Most homeowners can reduce their tax bill for a few hundreds of dollars by trying out one of these strategies:
- Noticing and reporting mistakes in your property tax bill
- Participating while the assessor inspects your property
- Applying for one of the exemptions
- Avoiding home improvements before the assessment
- Appealing the property tax bill
Property Tax Assistance for Low-Income Homeowners Explained
Since property taxes impose a financial burden on many citizens, states have come up with financial aid programs to help residents pay property taxes:
- Exemptions offered to special categories—such as veterans, widow(er)s, senior citizens, and disabled people—because they usually have the lowest incomes
- Homestead exemption designed to lower the property tax for every homeowner’s primary residence, regardless of the income
- Circuit breaker programs created to limit or reduce taxes for low-income homeowners
If you’re interested in getting a property tax reduction, you need to complete the required forms. Every state has different rules. That’s why you should contact your tax jurisdiction to find out more about the deadlines, eligibility, and similar.
Circuit Breaker Program Types
While each state has a different methodology regarding circuit breakers, the most common type is a threshold circuit breaker. It’s designed to help low-income homeowners by ensuring that the property tax is based on the percentage of an individual’s income rather than the property’s value. There are two types of threshold circuit breakers:
- Single threshold circuit breakers—the same percentage of the breaker is applied to all low-income homeowners equally
- Multiple threshold circuit breakers—the applied percentage depends on the income level
The eligibility limits range from $5,500 in Arizona to $147,000 in Vermont.
Which States Offer Help With Property Taxes for Low-Income Households?
Almost every state has an income-based property tax relief program, but most of them are offered to citizens older than 65. The following states offer help to low-income owners without age requirements:
- District of Columbia
- West Virginia
Apply for Property Tax Help for Low-Income Homeowners With DoNotPay
Do you feel overwhelmed by your state’s property tax rules? If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible to get property tax help as a low-income homeowner, senior, veteran, or disabled citizen, DoNotPay can help you.
Our Property Tax feature will determine which exemptions you qualify for based on your responses. We will also generate a personal guide to explain how you can apply for the property tax exemption. If you’d like to get all necessary info in one place and lower your property taxes quickly and hassle-free, follow these steps:
- Open DoNotPay
- Type in Property Tax in the Search field
- Respond to our questions
- Follow instructions provided in the guide
DoNotPay’s feature will gather crucial info and create a guide for any American county, including:
Property Tax Appeal Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated—Rely on DoNotPay
Property tax exemption eligibility and application aren’t the only information we will gather for you. DoNotPay will also explain the property tax appeal process to help you save time navigating your county’s website. Our guide will include the following:
- Advice on how to negotiate with your assessor
- Evidence you need to support your appeal
- Info about comparables
- Property tax appeal forms you need to complete
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