Homestead Exemption deadline looms

The April 1 deadline for filing for Homestead Exemption is fast approaching for those who have reached the age of 65 or have had a change in Homestead status.

Lincoln County Tax Assessor and Collector Rita Wilkinson Goss said that people can file for Homestead Exemption when they decide to make Lincoln County their home. The exemption would upgrade their residence from Class II to Class I which would decrease the assessment percentage thus lowering the amount of real estate tax they’d have to pay.

For those who have never filed for Homestead Exemption, they are instructed to bring to the Lincoln County Tax Assessor’s Office a copy of their deed, Social Security number, full cost of home and amount of down payment, all car tag numbers and proof of age and/or disability. The Lincoln County Tax Assessor’s Office is located on the first floor of the courthouse.

Some have to refile if they have had a change in their status. Such changes include changes in marital status, purchase or building of a new home, if you or your spouse became 65 years old in 2014, if you or your spouse became 100 percent disabled in 2014, if you made a deed change in 2014, if you or your spouse are 100 percent disabled veteran service connected.

Goss also said in addition to the lowering of the assessment percentage, it also provides a tax credit based on the value of their home. This tax credit can range from $6 to a $300 credit.

“There’s a great deal of benefits in filing for Homestead Exemption,” Goss said. “It’s worth filing for. You don’t automatically get it when you get a home in the county.”

Goss said the main problem she’s faced in regards to Homestead Exemption is that people don’t remember to come in and file when they turn 65.

“Homestead is a privilege, and you need to come in and ask about the exemption,” Goss said.

Deadline for filing for the Homestead Exemption is April 1. For more information about the exemption call the Tax Assessor’s office at 601-823-9347.