New applicants and those who need to recertify their eligibility for the disabled or senior citizen property tax deferral programs have three weeks left to file their paperwork.
If applicants don’t get their forms in by the deadline, they’ll be responsible for paying their property taxes this year.
The deferral program allows eligible senior citizens and people with disabilities to have the state pay property taxes on their behalf until they move, sell their home, or die. A lien is placed on their home, and all taxes, interest, and fees must be repaid before the lien is removed. Oregon’s deferral programs have approximately 6,300 active participants.
Program participants must meet all of the following criteria:
* Be either at least 62 years old or a disabled citizen receiving or eligible to receive federal Social Security disability benefits.
* Own or be in the process of buying the property, have a recorded deed or sales contract in their name, or have a revocable trust, and have lived on the property for at least five years.
* May not have a life estate interest, which enables a person to reside on the property, but automatically transfers ownership upon death.
* Carry homeowners insurance.
* Have a household income of less than $43,000. This includes all taxable and non-taxable income for the applicant(s) and spouse(s).
* Have a net worth of $500,000 or less, not including the value of the home in the program or personal property.
* Either have no reverse mortgage, or, if they have a reverse mortgage, they need to have been in the deferral program prior to 2011.
For their taxes to be paid in November, taxpayers need to meet the April 15 deadline, explained Bronson Rueda, deferral program manager at the Department of Revenue. This applies to participants who received recertification forms by mail in February and new applicants for deferral.
Recertification forms need to be returned to the department. New applications should be sent to the assessor’s office for the county in which the property is located. Applications are available at www.oregon.gov/dor/deferral.
Questions about deferrals can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Taxpayers can also call 503-945-8348 for more information.
Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax information, check the status of your refund, or make payments. You can also email email@example.com or call 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 (toll-free). The department receives a lot of phone calls during tax season so you may experience long wait times.