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Homestead filing deadline near

Friday is the last day for citizens to file a homesteadexemption application for this year and, in some cases, to takeadvantage new legislation that will allow homeowners to addproperty to their applications, said Lincoln County TaxAssessor-Collector Nancy Jordan.

With recent action by the state legislature, filing a homesteadapplication provides a homeowner with a credit of up to $300 towardtheir property taxes that will be due later this year. The previousmaximum credit was $240.

The new maximum credit is based on a property value of $75,000.In some cases, Jordan said homeowners may add property to theirhomestead applications to get up to that limit.

“If you feel your property is valued less than $75,000 and youhave additional property to add to your homestead, please do so byMarch 30,” Jordan said.

The homestead exemption filing period has been going on forthree months. However, Jordan said her office will be open Saturdayfrom 8 a.m. until noon for homeowners who need to add property totheir homestead claims.

Property owners who live outside the city limits and have one ormore tracts of land within five miles of their home may be able toadd the property to their homestead application, Jordan said. Thatwould allow them to increase the amount of their exemptioncredit.

Citizens in that situation should contact the assessor’s officeat 835-3425 as soon as possible to see if they qualify for thehigher credit. Citizens should also have all vehicle license plateinformation with them when they call or come by the office, Jordansaid.

Jordan said the homestead property add-on provisions would notapply to most city residents. To be eligible, a city resident musthave a lot adjacent to the property already on their homesteadexemption application and it may not be separated by a street.

“The majority of people don’t have but one lot,” Jordan saidabout city residents.

Homestead exemption filers who have only one piece of propertythat is valued at less than $75,000 do not need to re-apply, Jordansaid. They will automatically get the credit they are entitled to,she said.

Also, homeowners who have property valued at over $75,000 do notneed to re-apply for homestead exemption if they have already doneso. They will be in line to receive the maximum credit toward theirproperty taxes.